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Am I over reacting? Sexism

(21 Posts)
dalek Mon 23-Oct-17 18:39:34

My dd is doing work experience this week with a very large international manufacturing company. It is a week that is actively promoted as a way to interest girls in engineering.

The dress code was advised in writing as smart casual. Like most people I struggle to know what that means. DD decided that for today she would wear a skirt with boots, and jeans for the days that are allocated to actual work experience. As part of the day today they had a tour around the workshop/shop floor. The WOMAN overseeing the course asked my dd and the other girls in skirts whether they would like to put on some trousers. The girls asked if they needed to? Safety reasons maybe? The reply was "No but you might get comments"

Surely they should not be telling the girls to dress differently but to teach their work force that such comments are inappropriate and will not be tolerated. This is a week to encourage girls to apply to their company. And, rightly or wrongly, I am more annoyed that it was a woman who said this and basically was saying that the girls should accommodate the sexism - I've not articulated that very well but I hope you understand what I mean.

Also - why on earth didn't they say in the joining instructions that for safety reasons they should wear clothes that cover their legs.

Am I over reacting? Be gentle with me.

Youcanttaketheskyfromme Mon 23-Oct-17 18:42:00

Good grief.

"Might get comments"

As in they employ sexist neaderthals and don't care enough to do anything about it ?

Well I certainly wouldn't want to work there that's for sure.

MrsDustyBusty Mon 23-Oct-17 18:43:53

No, not overreacting. But I'd say that woman was trying to be kind given her own experience and I wouldn't expect her to be responsible for the culture of the company.

grasspigeons Mon 23-Oct-17 18:54:42

If she means comments in the sexually harassment way that is shocking!

If she meant comments as in 'a skirts not very practical for whatever it is they did in the workshop' its less shocking. I guess something can be impractical without being unsafe.

My husband works in this sort of environment and there is a real divide between the shop floor and the office. He'd gets ribbed for looking very 'office' so I could see a skirt as being seen as office wear.

It's terribly sad if she had to warn girls to change as they might get harassed. Thank goodness it's only a week.

dalek Mon 23-Oct-17 19:06:20

Obviously I wasn't there but DD's opinion was that it was very much not that it was unsafe - the girls basically asked that question - but that it would be of the "ooh nice legs" variety of comments.

I feel very sad for our daughters - and sons as they are probably expected to join in - that this is still an issue.

grasspigeons Mon 23-Oct-17 19:08:58

It is really sad. I'd be tempted to contact HR after its all done (anonymously, sadly)

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Mon 23-Oct-17 19:10:39


These are school girls! Shocking attitude from the company.

dalek Mon 23-Oct-17 19:12:33

I would imagine that there will be some feedback requested at the end of the week - will probably mention it then.

Thank you for all of your replies

Tilapia Mon 23-Oct-17 19:14:17

YANBU to be very sad that this culture still exists in some places and to think that the company should be doing something about it.

I think YABU to be more upset because it was a woman who made the comment... at the end of the day she was trying to warn / protect your DD.

LindyHemming Mon 23-Oct-17 19:38:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fffion Mon 23-Oct-17 19:40:32

Need the other side of the story.

Youcanttaketheskyfromme Mon 23-Oct-17 19:51:17

Ah yes that well known "other side" when a woman or girl mentions sexism.

dalek Mon 23-Oct-17 19:57:08

Ffion - I am not going to get in a fight over this but what is the "other side"?

dalek Mon 23-Oct-17 19:57:48

Fffion - sorry to spell your name incorrectly

dalek Mon 23-Oct-17 20:00:24

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - my dd made that point. They are all school girls so what are grown men doing making comments like that to them.

Pumperthepumper Mon 23-Oct-17 20:01:38

Hideous. I agree about posting on the feedback form.

BertrandRussell Mon 23-Oct-17 20:03:07

"Need the other side of the story."

What- where we hear that the boys were warned that they might get "comments" from the women on the shop floor?

Slimthistime Mon 23-Oct-17 20:10:08

it sounds as if she's told them it's a horrible sexist company

I would imagine she said it kindly so I wouldn't complain about her

the thing is, if you make an anonymous comment about what was said, it will probably be obvious because of whoever is in charge of work experience students

so I would say something like - "picked up misogynistic culture" - if you are feeding back anonymous that will be less of risk to the woman in charge of work experience.

CountFosco Mon 23-Oct-17 20:22:18

This company definitely needs feedback on the sexist culture that overlooks that kind of behaviour. How will any girl who goes there be encouraged to become an engineer? They should not be taking part in outreach programmes until they sort out this shitty culture. Phone up tomorrow and demand to speak to someone senior, the COO of the site perhaps (there's no need for the feedback to be anonymous, she's not an employee whose career could be affected)? Alternatively speak to someone from the organisation who organised the visit and tell them the company culture is not appropriate for this kind of event.

dalek Mon 23-Oct-17 20:27:03

On a good point NO comments were made to any of the girls that DD was aware of. She, and the other girls, were just shocked at what the woman said to them - and the fact that she felt the need to say it.

I am not looking to get anybody sacked/reprimanded - I will be very careful in my feedback.

Thanks for all your replies - off to eat my dinner now.

Fffion Mon 23-Oct-17 20:47:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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