In a world where the most important aspect of female Olympians is who they are married to, according to this headline (and if there was any doubt, the announcers also let you know), it’s hard to believe that people deny women are treated differently than men in 2016. And yet sexism occurs every single day – especially in the workplace.
Apparently, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a secretary or an Olympian, which is one of the more discouraging things I’ve ever had to write. You are still likely to be faced with sexism. In fact, the American Bar Association just now voted to ban remarks like “honey” or “darling” to female attorneys in the courtroom. I couldn’t believe that was ever permissible in an environment where a scribe literally takes down your every word, let alone permissible in the modern, “gender-equal” society we claim to live in.
We’re (hopefully) all familiar with the glass ceiling that keeps women out of the C-suite, and the prevalence of sexual harassment women face in the workplace. And my recent blog post addressed the finding that women with cleavage were 19 times more likely to land a job than other female applicants.
Then there’s the balancing act between ambition and “abrasiveness”. Motivated or powerful women constantly have to dilute their mannerisms or communications to appear softer and less “threatening”, while an assertive male is perceived as leadership material. One study found women were frequently criticized in performance reviews for being “abrasive”, while that word never appeared in the reviews of their male counterparts.
As a person with a very direct communication style, I can say firsthand it is exhausting to analyze your approach to every topic to ensure you’re not coming off as harsh or threatening. The comic below (from this amazing article here) illustrates it nicely.
So in light of the amazing female Olympians in the spotlight this week, let’s take a minute to celebrate the achievements of women beyond the husband they’ve landed or the cleavage they show.
And stay tuned for my upcoming movie review: Suicide Squad is under fire from feminists, and I’ll be putting my two cents in after I see it for myself!