Sexism in the workplace

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
1952 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Wow, I would 100% be annoyed and fuming pissed at this.  Do you have an HR department?  If so, I would start there.

Next, I would draft a written letter from all four women to the owner saying that being receptionist was not part of your job description, but you will be happy help out if this role is shared equally amongst all employees (male and female) at your level.  I would add that we are also happy to help out sharing equally in lifting things in the back building.

Do you have any friends who work for HR who you can ask their advice on?

Post # 4
Member
1134 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

If it’s not part of your job description, you don’t have to do it. If they badly need someone to answer their phones over the lunch hour, they can hire receptionists.

Post # 5
Member
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

jpalm13:  Yeah, this is really tricky especially since the HR isn’t really an “HR.” While I think that we as women have a duty to fight sexism in the workplace, there are workplaces such as yours where this attitude is deeply ingrained in the culture. Fighting such a culture may risk retaliation and will make things even more unpleasant for you.

If I were in your shoes, I would begin to look for another job at a more equal workplace (they do exist!). Then when doing your exit interview, you can explain what it was about the conditions that made you leave.

I’m sorry that you have to deal with this. 🙁

Post # 6
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

This is absolutely a sexist issue – but don’t make it about that. Don’t go there.  Don’t be that person. I appreciate your fight on behalf of women but don’t put your reputation on the line for this.

Simply tell your immediate supervisor you can’t do it because it’s not in your job description.  If the other women decide to answer phones, that’s their choice.  

Post # 8
Member
42546 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I suggest you read your job description before you balk at covering the phone. Almost all job descriptions have a line at the end that says “… and from time to time, such other duties as may be assigned…”

 

Post # 7
Member
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

I would be pissed. It doesn’t sound like there’s much you can do since this direction is coming from the owner. I feel for you. Is there a senior employee you respect and who will be on your side who you could talk to about it? Maybe they can talk to the owner.

Post # 9
Member
2661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Don’t most job descriptions contain an “other duties as assigned?”  I am not sure I would refuse.  Yes, it is unfair, but if you are an at-will employee, your employer has wide discretion in firing you.  I’d look for another job and say why you left in your exit interview.

 

Post # 12
Member
1057 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

It annoy me alot when this happen but I think it’s still a common “practice” in most work places.  I was just talking about it with my co-worker yesterday. 

Each christmas, we have potluck in our office. All men will stay in the boardroom chit chat, while us girls have to cover the phones and eat at our desk….AND when they are all done, they just quietly leave the room and “someone” will clean it up after them. 

 

Last year I refused to help and I don’t think the new girls help too. The poor female Engineer clean up everything after the superintedents and Engineer. 

Cleaning, setting up the party is NOT part of my job duties, so nope, I’m not touching any of that 

Post # 11
Member
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

jpalm13:  Ugh, that sucks. Not only are they sexist but ageist as well. “You’re too young” = unacceptable in workplace unless it has to do with legally being too young. Glad to hear that you are looking for other opportunities. I do think that you should maybe discreetly warn your professional networks about what working for this place is like – at least to the women in your networks.

As PPs are saying, yes, other duties as assigned means that workers should cover phones if need be, but why do the guys get to schmooze at lunches while you play Mad Men secretary? Eff that.

Post # 14
Member
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Personally I would be searching for a job with a different company.  It sounds like the company politics are male-dominated and male-driven.  You’re unlikely to change that and making a big deal out of the phone issue is only going to cause you problems.

It sucks but that’s why it’s important to pay attention to company culture before taking a job.  I always note whether there are any professional women in an office and how they dress.  I once interviewed with a huge company where the only women were super hot 20 year olds that answered the phones.  Other than support staff there wasn’t a single female professional in the building.  That interview was a complete waste of time because they didn’t want intelligent women working alongside them, they wanted eye candy to make their coffee and answer their phones.  Ick!

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