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Sexism

Are You Sexist At Workplace?

Are You Sexist At Workplace?
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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

You could be a feminist in your other avatars, yet deep rooted unconscious bias could be a part of your psyche. You could be sexist at your workplace and you don’t even know it. Here’s a checklist:

Hey baby!

Comes easy to you? Are you in a habit of calling women at work baby, darling, or honey? You need to stop. Seriously. The general accord is to try and keep away from using words such as honey, love, or babe while at work since it can either be seen as a power play or as acting too informal. Women who are not your lovers, in an intimate relationship with you, or not in your sorority are not to be called by intimate names.

You are not like any other woman I know

This is really not a compliment to that woman. There's a slight chance that you could just mean that the woman is a character and that you have never met anyone like that woman before. This also means that you are of the view that for a woman to be unlike most girls is a compliment and that you probably don't have a high opinion of most girls.

Listen to me

Sit through an entire work meeting and count the number of times women in the group get interrupted without getting the chance to complete a sentence or put together an argument. Are you one of the people who interrupt these women? If yes, you are sexist. A considerate person will keep this in mind when talking to a woman and try to counteract it by asking questions and waiting until she is done to start talking. You should feel as if what you have to say is as important as the other person.

Balance home and work

Do you catch yourself asking women at your workplace how they are managing pressures of work and child care? This, of course, is never (or very rarely) asked of a man. It is simply assumed, with underlying sexism, that women should be having kids and raising a family, and if they are not, then there is a problem.

It’s okay to touch

It is not. Just because you spend time at work with women at work doesn’t mean it’s okay to touch them. It’s pretty forthright. As a man, you ask verbally. There must be clear consent. And even if a woman does give verbal consent to touch her -- say, give her a hug or put your arm around her shoulder -- it doesn’t mean this acquiescence lasts incessantly. Without consent, you are encroaching on another person’s intimate space which is harassment. Men like to show domination over women, feeling entitled to touch in the guise of being friendly is sexist.

Edition: December 2016

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