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New brief explores how sexist comments in the workplace undervalue women

Two women discussing sales at an office

The Sexist Comments and Responses brief series by the Utah Women and Leadership Project is complete. Undervaluing women is the topic of the final brief, and UWLP founding director Susan Madsen said this brief includes a range of comments. Some she read were serious and dealt with affirmative action.

“A man I managed told me, ‘You are not a real executive, you're just checking the box,’” Madsen said.

Other comments, Madsen said, might have been viewed as a joke by some, but not by women they were directed toward.

“While my female colleagues and I were on our way to a women's networking meeting, a manager called after us and asked if we'd really just be baking cookies and discussing makeup tips, just so we could have an hour away from our desks,” Madsen said.

There were almost 900 comments overall in the undervaluing women category from over 800 women. Madsen said all of these women have different life experiences, and even if a comment is intended to be a joke, women’s contributions are not something to joke about.

“Sometimes when we say things as jokes, and so forth, or just these little slide things, you know, they may have experienced things that just these trigger,” Madsen said.

There is a lot to learn from this brief, but Madsen said she hopes people will take away something from all of the briefs.

“I really hope people take the time to read our whole set of five so that they can really, you know, help be positive impacts on people and help educate people about this,” Madsen said.

You can visit to read all five of the briefs.

Utah Public Radio is a partner on the Utah Women and Leadership Podcast series. Find the first episode on these briefs here.

Emma Feuz is a senior at Utah State University majoring in broadcast journalism with minors in sociology and political science. She grew up in Evanston, Wyoming where, just like Utah State, the sagebrush also grows. Emma found her love of writing at an early age and slowly discovered her interest in all things audio and visual throughout her years in school. She is excited to put those passions to use at UPR. When school isn't taking up her time, Emma loves longboarding, cheering on the Denver Broncos, and cleaning the sink at Angies.