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  • Writer's pictureLacy Starling

#153: "The Girls"

The most disappointing type of misogyny is misogyny from other women. The casual dismissal of women in the workplace by other, higher-ranking women really burns my biscuits.

A few weeks ago, I was on a call with an HR organization, learning about their outsourced HR services. The CEO, who is a woman, kept referring to the HR generalists on her staff as "the girls."

"The girls really do a great job on responding to emails." "The girls are really skilled at answering questions." And etc.

By the end of the call, I was filled with righteous rage on behalf of "the girls," college-educated professionals (of all ages, mind you), who had been reduced to being thrown in a bucket and referred to as children. I'm used to this from men—if I had a nickel for every time a male CEO has referred to his marketing, administrative, accounting or HR staff as "the girls," I'd be a wealthy woman.

But I expect more from women in power. I expect us to raise each other up, not imply, through the language we use, that the women in our companies are actually children, or a monolith, or to perpetuate the stereotype that these jobs are less significant because they involve "soft skills" instead of whatever it is you think "the men" do.

Unless this CEO has a gaggle of actual female children working in her company, referring to them as "our team" or "our HR generalists" or by their actual names, would be so much better and not a particularly difficult switch. It would give these professionals the respect they deserve, and raise them in the estimation of potential clients, like myself.


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