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Do You Feel Like Your University Prepared You for Workplace Sexism?

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fancy building that could be part of a college or university campus

When you’ve faced sexism in the workplace, has it made you wish that someone had better prepared you to deal with it — maybe your parents, or mentors? Do you feel like your college or university prepared you for workplace sexism, either in undergrad or grad school?

A recent op-ed in Ms. Magazine made us think that this would be a great discussion to have here — and we’d love to hear readers’ thoughts!

In a Weekly News Update earlier this year, we linked to a piece called “Universities Are Not Preparing Educated Women for the Sexism That Greets Them After Graduation.” Dr. Christina Wyman, a writer and adjunct professor, wrote it in part to respond to writer Joseph Epstein’s sexist, condescending op-ed that suggested Dr. Jill Biden drop the “Dr.” 

Dr. Wyman, who earned a PhD in curriculum, instruction, and teacher education, wrote that her university didn’t prepare her for the sexism she’d encounter in the workplace (specifically, in academia). As a professor, she had to deal with “salary negotiations and discrepancies across gendered lines” as well as “sexually charged student evaluations [and] unwanted sexual advances, topped with administrative advice to write less and perform more service.” 

Here’s how she concluded her piece:

Degree-conferring institutions have a responsibility to recognize and address infantilizing attitudes toward highly educated women. Preparing all students to combat these professional realities is part and parcel to receiving a high-quality education.

Only then can we, as Dr. Biden put it, begin to “build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.”

How about you, readers? Did your college or university address sexism in the workplace as something that women should be prepared for? What has surprised you about the sexism you’ve faced in your career? For those of you who’ve been in your careers for a while, do you now recognize some things as sexist that you didn’t realize were sexist at the time (for example, employers’ treatment of mothers)?

Stock photo via Stencil.



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