Dr chloe warren is a communications professional. she finds it tricky to communicate what that means, but this in no way reflects how great she is at communicating. probably.

Happy International Women's Day!

 

Yes it’s been a while but you’ll all be happy to know I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth entirely, I’ve just been getting a bit better at pacing myself. Unfortunately the things which disappear off my to-do list first are the voluntary ones, so  Let’s Try This PhD Thing has seen a bit of a drop in activity while I try and actually finish that PhD thing.

I am choosing to celebrate International Women’s Day by pre-empting the oft heard cry of the lesser-spotted man baby, which can sound a lot like, “Why isn’t there an International Man’s Day?”. I am pre-empting the call with this response, which constitutes,

A List of Shit That Has Actually Gone Down in my Workplace and Surroundings:

-          At a female colleague’s farewell party: “You’re welcome to come back and work for us but just make sure you’ve had all your babies first.”

-          To a pregnant colleague: “Stand up and give us a twirl, let’s see how big you’ve gotten.”

-          In response to a request to consider bringing more women on to a committee, “{laughter} It would take four women to do my job!”

-          Male academic is late to greet a group of international visitors. Female academic has to fill in time awkwardly while awaiting his arrival. Later, in a meeting with the visitors, the same female academic (the ONLY female academic in the meeting) is asked by male academic to get everyone coffee, as, “We may be here some time.”

-           “We’ve had a lot of women apply for the position, some of them are very attractive…don’t worry, I wouldn’t employ them, I’ve worked with attractive women before. They’re just so manipulative.”

-          “Yes I suppose you’d be good at PR, you could walk around in a tight skirt and heels looking pretty all day.”

-          At an event dedicated to gender equity, two tables were designated for an organisation, one at the front and one at the back. All women on one, all men on the other – guess who sat where?

-          “I don’t like women of x nationality, they are very ugly. I prefer women of y nationality, don’t you agree they are prettier?”

-           “Hey, you’re smart for a girl.”

-          During a discussion about why a certain award has never been given to a female researcher, male academic answers, “That award is given out in incredibly rare and exceptional circumstances. You have to excel in research to get it.”

-          Explaining why a senior female disagreed with someone, “She probably had women’s troubles.”

-          “Person X won’t be attending the meeting, she’s off sick today.” “Oh good, we won’t have to listen to her complain about gender equity.”

#YesAllWomen have to put up with this rubbish.

(And it’s a shame that I have to point this out: but that that doesn’t mean that Yes All Men are to blame.)

Celebrating International Women’s Day means celebrating those who have and who continue to sacrifice so much as we continue to move closer towards gender equity. It means celebrating how far we’ve come whilst still acknowledging that we’ve still got a way to go.

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