Disrespect towards women at work
Disrespect towards women at work can happen during virtual or in-person meetings, through email, or anywhere work gets done. It can look like:
- interrupting, talking over or ignoring women in face-to-face and virtual meetings
- assuming women, regardless of their role, will pick up the slack in tasks such as taking minutes, coffee runs, and tidying the office kitchen
- implying women don’t have the leadership skills to manage difficult workplace situations
- making sexist or looks-based comments about women co-workers
- attempting to silence women or dismiss their viewpoints by not inviting them to meetings or leaving them off email chains.
Key facts about disrespect towards women at work
- Women (85%) are more likely to report being sexually harassed at work than men (57%) ( , 2018)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are more often sexually harassed at work (55% compared with 39% of all women) ( , 2018)
- Women who identify as LGBTIQ are more often sexually harassed at work (52% compared with 39% of all women) ( , 2018)
- Young women (aged 18-24) are more than twice as likely than the rest of us to be sexually harassed ( , 2016)
- Just 31% of women feel they are being treated equally to men at work, while 51% of men feel there is equality ( , 2018)
- In 2018, only 35% of people who witnessed workplace sexual harassment did something ( , 2018)
- Currently, Australia’s gender pay gap is at 14%, with women earning on average $253.60 (per week) less than men ( , 2019).
How to do something
- Show your disapproval of a sexist comment by shaking your head
- Support women by talking to your manager or Human Resources
- Speak up when women are interrupted: ‘We didn’t hear her point; can we circle back?’
- Use workplace values and policies as a basis to speak up
- Let female colleagues being targeted know you’ll be a witness to their formal complaint
- Pull colleagues aside to talk about what’s not OK
- Form an alliance of like-minded people to support each other when doing something.