Our film explores 34 moments of sexism and misogyny experienced by real women from all walks of life and backgrounds. Not in the age of Don Draper, but now. Some are obvious, some not so much. All of them are a reminder that we need to do better.
Sure, it seems harmless, but men advance a lot further than women through social situations. Golf is one of the few pockets of the business world heavily male-dominated. By all means play for fun, but when it comes to business, find a fairer playing field. Or at least extend the invite to everyone.
The C Word
A label reserved for women, misrepresenting genuine concern as a hysterical reaction. Subconsciously, our language changes when describing men and women. Men are logical. Women are emotional and well, crazy. If Wordle has taught us anything, it’s that words are important.
The Dreaded Door
A common question. Holding a door open for anyone is a polite thing to do. So push and pull to your heart’s content, there’s always someone who’ll appreciate the favour. Unless they’re in that awkward zone a bit too far away…
More creepy than cute. That goes for “Dear”, “Honey” and “Darling” too. You can still open doors for women - and men - just keep the pet names for your cat.
This comment was about as subtle as a bull in a china shop. Next time, call it out, make a joke even. “C’mon, aren’t we better than that?” Nothing like humour to disarm a situation.
Gender equality isn’t a fad or trend, it’s a serious issue. Nice to have you onboard.
Trivialising the Big Stuff
International Women’s Day isn’t a ‘girls-only’, ‘no-boys-allowed’ club. It’s a celebration of women’s achievements and a chance to raise awareness against bias. This is your chance to be an ally. Trust us, your presence will be noticed and appreciated.
Odds are we’ve all heard women being put down for being hormonal. Surely it’s time for some more witty humour? In fact, studies have found that men’s emotions are on the same rollercoaster as women’s in a month.
When only 6% of CEOs are women, the “glass ceiling” isn’t quite ready to be joked about.
Would you call your male CEO a ‘Boy Boss’? Say bye-bye to obnoxious labels.
We know you’re shaking your head, but sexual objectification like this still goes on in 2022. It’s a common move used to shift the power dynamics. The rule? Just don’t comment on a woman’s appearance if it’s not something you would say to her directly. And if you’re still confused, stick to comments about their work.
Yeah that was pretty awks… but even more awks to be in the front row and not say anything. Showing support to women in those moments is crucial. Throwing in a simple, “Hey, I’m sorry. That wasn’t cool,” seems small, but it goes a long way.
The Problem with Mat Leave
“Mat leave” is no reason for a demotion - yet sadly, it often is. 90% of men get a promo after starting a family compared to 27% of women…not to mention almost 1 in 5 mothers reported they were made redundant, faced dismissal or their contracts weren’t renewed during their pregnancy, when they requested or took parental leave, or when they returned to work. Childbirth isn’t a lobotomy.
C’mon...the kid has the face of an angel. But seriously guys, family photos in the office help break down some pretty old school stereotypes parents face every day - and that’s good for mums and dads.
A Seat at the Table
Cringe-worthy to watch, right? Women and men bring different perspectives to the table, it’s important both experiences are represented on projects. Next time, look around and pull up a chair for her.
One Small Step
We’ve seen this happen to our junior colleagues. So if you notice an awkward power dynamic, speak up, or at least offer a chair. A little action can go a long way to make someone feel included in the conversation.
The practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats. If your mate’s doing it, tell him to close shop.
Office Temperature Wars
Ever noticed women around the office wrapped in blankets like burritos? It’s been scientifically proven that women and men regulate their body temperatures slightly differently, so yes, it is a thing. Aircons are automatically set using a thermostat model developed in the SIXTIES! For this one you might not need to find your voice, if you can find the button.
The Male Glaze
Definition: Head nodding along politely whilst the eyes take on the appearance of a glazed doughnut.
It’s “listening” but not really listening - it looks, assumes and moves on with a shrug insinuating you don’t really care about what your female colleague is speaking about. You’re not fooling anyone either.
Old-fashioned Role Assumptions
Been watching a bit too much Mad Men, eh? We’ve been assuming women will take down all the important things we say for centuries. Women aren’t secretaries, men can handle note-taking too. While you’re at it, help to clear up the meeting room afterwards as well.
On average women get interrupted by men 2.1 times every 3 minutes. It happens so much we don’t even realise we’re doing it. So next time, acknowledge it and circle back to your interrupted colleague. Plus, you’re showing everyone else at the table what to do. Legend.
Would you call your mate “hysterical” or “emotional”? Probably not. That’s because we are taught a different set of words to describe men and women from before we can speak. Next time, ask yourself is it bossiness? Or just passion?
This is a downright no go. But on the topic of physical contact - greetings are a minefield these days. Handshakes and fist pumps are fine - even an elbow. But shoulder rubs? Come on, that’s just creepy.
The truth is whilst it might be just the pub to you - women are often left off the invitation to social occasions. It doesn’t just mean missing out on the beer, it’s also missing out on the opportunity to build rapport and advance her career.
Heard the term “Gaslighting”? Well this is it, lads. Invalidating or minimising someone’s thoughts and feelings is a way of taking control. It really damages the trust people have in their own instincts. Next time, perhaps don’t be too...well…rude.
Constructive criticism is a part of working life. But diversity is also important. Different opinions, approaches and ways of doing things should be welcomed. If you’re only looking for the same candidate or the same traits, then your pool of experience and expertise will be limited.
Tokenism is pretty transparent these days. Perhaps this “magical” copywriting is better spent on writing policies to support gender equality in the workplace. Plus, you’d never put up a poster to motivate men to seize the day, would you? Check out Our Watch to see how to open the conversation at work.
Did you know that the lack of family-friendly workplace practices and culture is a major barrier to gender equality? Growing a baby doesn’t happen overnight and this isn’t the savannah - human babies aren’t born ready to fend for themselves. Talk to HR about paternity leave policies and make sure you have strong parental leave schemes in place.
Notice all the men leaving? Women talking to women about women is getting us nowhere. We need more guys to lean in…then go chat about it at the pub. You would be surprised how many women would love to see men in these sessions. In fact, 82% say they want to see more guys actively participating in gender equality.
Sexual harassment should never be downplayed. It’s a crime. We know it’s only a minority of men taking it this far, but permissibility for sexual assault grows when these acts are shrugged off or simply swept under the rug. That’s why it’s so important to find and use your voice.
Just a bit of banter? In this case it’s sexual harassment. And it’s a very real problem. In fact, 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace*, so downplaying this issue is never ok. Ever. It’s not always easy for victims to speak up, but if you’ve witnessed or heard of any offence, report it to HR and the police immediately.
*(The Law Council’s 2013 National Attrition and Re-Engagement Survey(NARS)
It’s like ‘Where’s Wally’ for the older 50s in this office and most offices in Australia. Experience and expertise go hand in hand, so let’s not declare people ‘past it’ when they hit a certain age. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Minority groups such as people of colour, people with disabilities and the LGBTQI community report significantly higher levels of discrimination and harassment, even though research proves that workplace inclusion significantly improves performance and wellbeing tenfold.
Turning a Blind Eye
It can be awkward, but casual misogyny continues in silence. It’s up to good guys, like you, to show your disapproval. You don’t need to speak on their behalf, but definitely speak up when you can.