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Combating Sexism In The Workplace

August 11, 2019

Statistics from tech recruiter CWJobs reveal the staggering levels of everyday sexism women are faced with in the tech industry. From seemingly innocuous comments, backhanded compliments and uncomfortable encounters to being overlooked for promotion in favour of male colleagues, a worrying number of women face daily challenges in proving their worth.

While change is happening within the industry, it’s no wonder women want to combat what they are seeing every day. Over half of women in tech say that someone has implied that being a woman may prohibit their career, whilst 15% have received such comments directly and nearly one in four say they have experienced promotion discrimination based on their gender.

Whilst the tech industry is disproportionately male, it shouldn’t mean women are faced with discrimination and made to feel like they don’t belong. Women have experienced comments suggesting they can’t hold a senior role with 63% having overheard or been on the receiving end of ‘can I speak with your boss’ while over half have heard the backhanded ‘you are too pretty to work in this industry’ regarding their role. Shockingly, 58% have overheard or been asked if their mood was related to their ‘time of the month’.

Frustratingly over half, of women in tech surveyed have heard the misguided stereotype that girls can’t do more technical subjects such as science, maths, technology or engineering. Over a third have been on the receiving end of a man asking ‘Sorry, am I being too technical for you?’

According to the CWJobs research, the most infuriating sexist phrases overheard or received by women in tech in the workplace include:

  • Sweetheart/love/darling etc. – 93%
  • Cheer up / Smile more – 83%
  • Can you make us all tea / coffee? – 69%
  • Not bad for a girl – 66%
  • Oh well done! (sarcastic) – 65%
  • Can I speak with your boss? – 63%
  • Sorry, am I being too technical for you? - 61%
  • You are such a bitch – 60%
  • Don’t get emotional / cry like a girl – 59%
  • You need to be more outgoing / bubbly – 58%
  • Why are you so moody, are you on the blob? – 58%
  • Dumb blonde – 57%
  • Female brains just aren't as logical / technical – 54%
  • Girls can’t do science / maths / technology, engineering etc – 53%
  • You don’t look like you work in tech / You are too pretty to be doing that - 51%
  • You’ll just go off and have babies – 47%
  • You probably got the job because you’re female – 46%
  • Shouldn’t you be getting your nails / hair done instead? – 45%
  • This is a tech event, are you sure you should be here? – 39%

In the era of #MeToo, women are looking for the equality they deserve more than ever and this needs to be driven by example within businesses and hiring practises.


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