The Place


Does sexism in the workplace still exist? Yes!

Posted at 1:51 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 15:51:45-05

Researchers at the Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) wanted to understand how women experience sexist comments in our state.

In a newly released survey, Dr. Susan Madsen, Director of UWLP, told us it's clear sexism does exist. In fact, she says it's "alive and well" in Utah.

This is the third of five briefs focused on the results of an extensive study on this topic.

They wanted to do the study to collect and analyze a wide variety of sexist comments experienced by women across our state, and how women responded or wish they had responded to those comments.

Some of the quotes women reported hearing in the workplace include:

"My male manager told me an old man was probably going to sexually harass me and to not report him."
"A male superior suggested that I come to the office on Halloween in costume dressed as a sexy nurse."
"My manager told me, 'Part of your job is keeping me happy. Will you come away with me for the weekend?' We were both married to other people."

Dr. Marsden says the profile of those making sexist comments is usually male, and someone with authority over the respondent or peer in a workplace setting and about 35 to 39 years old.

More than 35 percent of all sexist comments were categorized in the theme "objectification" — comments that focused on physical appearance, sexual harrassment, sexualizing women etc.

Most women say they either directly responded to the sexism with a rebuttal, or to educate the commenter. But others say they didn't respond at all because they didn't feel comfortable due to a power imbalance.

The goal if this series, Dr. Madsen says, is to educate both men and women about sexist comments and the many forms it can take.

They also want to give women tools to combat sexism.

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