Sexism in the workplace is an unfortunate reality that many people, particularly women, must deal with in the workplace. As more and more women are advancing in the workplace and taking on leadership roles, the chance of sexism becomes even more of a possibility. Sexism can be mentally and emotionally draining on an individual. Dealing with cutting, offhanded remarks, being interrupted mid sentence, belittled and ignored at work can take a mental toll on you. Before you think that there is no solution and that the workplace will always be just a “boys club”, here are some tips on how to deal with sexism in the workplace.
Treat it as any other type of rude behavior.
If you are in a room full of people and each person is taking their turn to speak and someone else is constantly interrupting, what do you do? You politely ask if you may finish your thought before someone else can speak. Same goes with sexism in the workplace. If you are the only woman in a room full of men and you can see that you are overtly being treated differently, as in being interrupted, ignored or undermined, make the situation known and make your voice heard. Speaking up will show others that their behavior is inappropriate and that you will not stand for it.
Start a support group with the other women in the office.
If you feel as though you are being discriminated against in the workplace, chances are, so are many other women. It can be easier to deal with sexism in the workplace by starting a support group with other women who have had similar experiences. This will show you that you are not alone in your ordeal and will also allow for dialogue on how to combat this type of behavior in the workplace.
Contact human resources.
If you’ve exhausted all your resources, spoken to those who are constantly treating you differently and gone beyond your own means, the next step is to go to human resources. Like I said, dealing with sexism in the workplace can be mentally belittling and if severe enough, will take a toll on your health and productivity. If getting human resources involved is a step you feel you must take, then by all means do it. Sexism in the workplace will only end if you show that you will not tolerate it.