Today is International Women’s Day, in the true spirit of the day of highlighting inequality and challenging the current environment I decided to publish this piece I’ve had saved in my drafts since 2019. Some of it’s deep, some of it I’ve told barely anyone.
A woman’s place, in the workplace is:
- To not have our chests addressed instead of our faces.
- Not being told to smile or cheer up. Because we’re all human, we have ups and downs and women aren’t here for your visual pleasure.
- Not having our arms nudged, caressed or stroked midway through conversations. Unwanted touching is inappropriate.
- Not being patronised or spoken down to constantly. We got these jobs on our own merit, don’t discredit us.
- To not have emails addressed to you as “Trouble, Ah up Trouble, Hi Trouble”. We have names, use them and women aren’t trouble.
- To not be called a “freelance slut” and that you’re “whoring out yourself” simple because you take freelance jobs on the side.
- To not be grabbed by the back of the neck however “playful” or “banter-ish” you think that is at client meetings.
- To not have our client meetings hijacked where you haven’t even worked with the client but feel the need to constantly make yourself relevant.
- To not perch on our desk and refuse to move when we tell you, you’re making us uncomfortable.
- To not have our concerns downplayed when we raise issues of harassment or made to feel we’re misunderstanding the events.
- To not be told cases of harassment are men trying to be “a father-figure” since when do women need a father figure in the workplace, are we not allowed to go to work ourselves? Plus I’m pretty sure your father isn’t supposed to harass you.
As a woman in the 21st century you should know your place in the workplace, believe me it’s not having any of the above done to you or your female colleagues. Sadly all these instances have happened in my last two and a half years of work.
Words: Radhika Mary