To truly celebrate women and reduce sexism…

by | Mar 8, 2023

We women need to stop doing this too 😬

As many readers know, I am writing a new book called Conquer Hiring. It is for all managers and leaders (not recruiters) and will focus on the easily fixable things they can do to make this hiring malarkey better for everyone – especially themselves (and us!).

Choosing to start it in no particular order, I began writing about the cost of -isms on hiring. I want to show your managers and leaders that for every -ism or phobia expressed during the recruitment process there is a consequence. That people in 2023 have no fear in sharing how they feel about a certain company, manager or experience on the internet. That people are happy to warn others about a company. Sharing names and all.

What follows may seem anti-feminist - it is not. 
I simply proffer a different point of view for your consideration.



The definition of sexism is the belief that the members of one sex, usually women, are less intelligent or less capable than those of the other sex and need not be treated equally. It is also the behaviour which is the result of this belief.

As a woman, ‘sexism’ seemed like an easy place to start.

I expected to see plenty of examples.

My female friends shared many examples with me.

I looked online and found plenty more.

But I started getting annoyed.

I also found female-led sexism.


Why was I even surprised by the sexism?

In 2017, I was invited to the US to deliver the opening keynote at an event for TA Leaders. It was such an honour. I gave it my all. Shared lots of tips. I left them with implementable takeaways. After the talk, a woman said to me, ‘Great talk. You have given me the confidence to wear tight dresses.’

Later in the year, bidding for a piece of work, a female TA Leader in the UK said to me, ‘Two of my [female] recruiters were at your talk. Great dress!’ Right then I knew I wouldn’t win the work, because they didn’t comment on my expertise or insights, just my attire. 🙄

I understand the reasons it happens – the patriarchy, the press, blah, blah. But how can we expect sexism to cease if we don’t start with our own behaviour? Our tendency to belittle fellow women in the way we don’t like to receive it from men must stop.


Types of sexism in hiring

Queen Bee syndrome

Queen Bee syndrome refers to women in authority or power who treat subordinate females worse than males purely because of their gender.

So here I am 6 years later searching for examples for my new book. And the first one I find is from just 3 weeks ago. A LinkedIn post by Georgina Hughes

woman led sexism

🫣 The assumption here – by a woman – is that Georgina is the primary carer and that is sexist.

🤨 Hey Dads, have you been asked how you will handle a high-pressure environment while being a parent?


Don’t be the woman expanding the gender pay gap!

The gender pay gap or gender wage gap is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women who are working.

I did share this a few weeks back but… here it is again because it is so wrong!

woman led sexism 2

Putting this recruiter’s theory into action.

A man and a woman apply for a role and they have exactly the same skills, everything equally. But she’s only on 40k and he’s on 55k while the role, which has been budgeted and signed off, pays 60k.

According to this [female] recruiter’s biassed thinking, the female applicant only deserves to increase her salary to 45k, while the male applicant can ask for the full 60k. Leaving the woman 15k behind, and potentially continuing the gender pay gap.

Whereas by not asking about salary, and just stating that the salary is 60k, whoever gets the job gets 60k. If the female applicant gets it, the gender pay gap on that role closes, she is paid fairly for the skills and experience she brings to the role, and she won’t feel resentment and later leave.


3 things to do today about sexism

1. Ladies, hand on heart – have you been a Queen Bee?

We are human, there will be times where another’s behaviour doesn’t warrant your support. But here I am asking you to consider how you speak about or to another woman. Make sure it’s supportive. Don’t, for example, be the women who only comments on another’s attire or motherhood, instead of on their expertise or experience.

2. Everyone, go follow Gender Pay Gap Bot

All day today @PayGapApp will be working hard to highlight the hypocrisy of posts from companies that have not levelled up the gender pay gap (either way!). It is genius!

3. Everyone, go check out Equidi

To get an idea of where your company is now, have a look at Equidi. It is a world-first platform that shows you the real-time pay-gap and workforce representation, across every part of your business, on a single dashboard. It will take all the frustration out of the process.

To all the women who are empowering other women, I see you, I appreciate you, and I thank you! ❤️🙏🏻


Image of the book Reboot Hiring with its bright yellow cover

Pre-order for your managers and leaders now to receive freebies!