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The average person spends about one third of their lifetime at work. So if there’s anything that makes you feel uncomfortable in your work environment, that can take a huge toll on you. It's not easy to do a great job when your fingers are numb from a freezing cold office, and your feet are constantly aching from being required to wear heels. There are plenty of things that can affect how "at home" you feel in the office, especially if you’re a woman…

Women have been detailing on Reddit all of the small things that can go a long way in making a workplace feel less hostile, and every CEO should be taking notes. From making parents’ lives easier to providing sanitary products in the restrooms, we’ve gathered the most spot-on responses down below. Keep reading to also find an interview with Miki Feldman Simon, founder of IamBackatWork, and be sure to upvote the replies you agree with.

#1

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Please no required heels!

Sirendimensions , Dana Tentis Report

To gain more insight on this topic, we reached out to Miki Feldman Simon. Miki is an Executive Coach and the founder of IamBackatWork, which was created to empower people with practical advice, tools and skills to accelerate their personal and professional growth. Lucky for us, Miki was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda about the ways in which workplaces often prioritize the desires of men over the concerns and needs of women.

"We see this in simple things like office temperature, often set to be way too cold for women, or fun activities aimed towards men, like football games or social events held after office hours when women often need to be home to care for their kids," Miki shared. "Systemically, men are often given more opportunities for career advancement and higher salaries, while women face challenges such as gender-based discrimination, unequal pay, and a lack of support for family responsibilities."

#2

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Eliminate sexist jokes from the workplace. Stop saying periods are disgusting and inappropriate when you’re a 35 year old male supervisor.

Alternative-Water-50 , Yan Krukau Report

#3

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women My old job had a box of good-to-have stuff in ALL restrooms. They were unisex, so there was both tampons, pads, pantyliners, spray deodorant in two different fragrances ("male" and "female"), hairspray, dental floss sticks and such.

T'was a good thing.

dumhuvud , Sarah Report

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Bender Bending Rodríguez
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What am I missing here? Why would this make someone uncomfortable as title suggest? Is it because unisex bathrooms? Or is this just misplaced post for this collection?

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"I always had extra layers at the office to account for freezing temperatures," Miki told Bored Panda. "As the only woman in the management team, I would often feel like an outsider when the discussion would revolve around sports. For years, I had to decline the drinks after work and go home to my kids. The men bonded and built deeper relationships. They all had kids at home too. It was their wives responsibility to be there for them."

#4

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Make it easier for women to take sick time for reproductive health issues. I've dealt with fibroids for years now and it would've been nice if I felt comfortable enough on my worse days to take time off to rest.

Don't assign a woman the social tasks of the office unless she volunteers to. Not every woman wants to keep track of birthdays, bridal showers and baby showers.

Carolinablue87 , Sora Shimazaki Report

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Marie Dahme
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Exactly. If a man has to deal with endometriosis or complex endometrial hyperplasia….then I will put a warm blankie on them, make a cup of tea and offer some Tylenol. Until then, be patient With us. Not to be gross but when a woman goes thru partial menopause for 18 months, then after a biopsy it starts up again. You can NOT leave your house. You need to be five feet from a restroom every hour all day long for at least a week. The body is shedding 18 months worth of very thick liver sized pieces of tissue all in the span of a week. It’s painful, gross and we don’t want to go thru it. And there are SO MANY other complex problems with our reproductive system that can and usually does go wrong. Many of us deal with this agony for years and sometimes our own husbands can’t quite grasp how frustratingly painful it can be. Let alone HR or our boss.

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#5

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Easy access to a bathroom. Meaning no asking for a key or having to ask people before going to the bathroom. Also a trash can right next to the toilet and maybe some emergency period products

Luwe95 , Natracare Report

When it comes to what workplaces should be doing to ensure that women feel comfortable, Miki says they should assess where they are not meeting women’s needs and where they are not providing equal opportunities. "They should prioritize diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as offering flexible work arrangements, providing equal pay for equal work, addressing gender-based discrimination and harassment, providing access to leadership and mentorship opportunities for women, and offering family-friendly policies such as parental leave and child care support," she told Bored Panda.

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#6

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women If someone is talking down to your coworkers/employees for being a woman, support them.

I had a customer insult my knowledge because I'm a woman. So my male coworker bartender went to serve them. He played dumb to the questions, asked me and repeated the answer I gave him which I said loud enough for the person to hear came from my mouth first.

That gained all my love and respect because most places are like you're in customer service "deal with it". Here the customer isn't always right and they don't get to treat people like punching bags.

TenaciousToffee , Timur Weber Report

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R Dennis
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11 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Had our IT department do it more than once. I was a new hire, but knew quite a bit about computers. We needed a tech to come out and repair a computer. The guy on the phone had the manager in tears. I took over the phone call and told him what was done and what we needed (I kind of went off on him) and he said they would send a tech. I slammed the phone in his ear without even saying goodbye... another time a different person with the same IT department asked MY BOSS if there was a male manager available. I told her she needed to report it. She was a very intimidating manager, but she refused to do it. I wish she had, those a******s deserved to be fired.

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#7

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women This is dumb as hell but my office’s stairs are see-thru because I’m in billing for EnGiNeEriNg, so folks wearing dresses to go upstairs have to be clever about how they do it.

lilacpointsiamese , Hubert Figuière Report

"It's essential for everyone to feel equally included in their work environment because it leads to greater job satisfaction, higher levels of employee engagement and productivity, and a more positive workplace culture overall," Miki added. "A workplace that values diversity and inclusion benefits everyone, not just women, by creating a more supportive and collaborative environment."

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#8

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women There’s been stories of women being fired from their office jobs for refusing to wear make up or heels to work, which obviously has no effect on how they work

mattpel1 , Samson Katt Report

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VidGam4
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wearing heels could possibly even have a negative effect on their work!

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#9

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Women in power putting down the rest of us and acting like snakes, this is not a competition, we dont want your place, we just want to get our coin without feeling the need to cry over a toxic environment other women create. We are in this together, its already hard to live in a mens world, why some women feel the need to make it harder.

mjigs , Vlada Karpovich Report

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Veronica Jean
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sadly, I truly believe this is less about pride and more that they had to be that way to get to that space, and it's hard to unlearn. Our office is women-owned so thankfully we don't have that, but we work with a lot of offices where it took years for the women we worked with to treat us as human, and almost always it was because the woman was in a male-dominant field. As we got to know them, you wouldn't believe some of the things they had been through. Now when a woman looks down on me It's so much easier to not take it personally. Doesn't make it ok, just makes it easier to look past.

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"We all need to be invested in making a change and creating an environment that is just as welcoming to women as it is to men," Miki says. "In addition to workplace policies, it's essential for individuals to be aware of their own biases and to actively work to create a more inclusive workplace culture. Everyone can play a role in promoting diversity and inclusion by listening to diverse perspectives, respecting differences, and challenging stereotypes and biases."

If you'd like to learn more about Miki or gain some guidance for how to further your own career, be sure to visit IamBackatWork right here.

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#10

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women I'm just going to be THAT PERSON: the best thing to make it inclusive is openness about and equality in regards with pay.

TenNinetythree , Tima Miroshnichenko Report

#11

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women If there is a dresscode, make it universal. Same rules for all.

anon , Thirdman Report

#12

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women A clean place for pumping! Telling a lot woman she needs to pump in the bathroom stall definitely creates an unwelcome feeling.

grumpybumpkin , twitter.com Report

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Marie Dahme
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And it’s unsanitary! How would they feel if they were diabetic and told that checking glucose levels and administer insulin should be done in the restroom?

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#13

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Well if the IT dept in the international company I work for, where every new employee has to go to get their laptop, could take down the calendars (plural) featuring naked women, that would be great (yea, i already filed a complaint, call me a stuck-up bi*ch)

alterega1 , www.ebay.com Report

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Susanna Vesna
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Easy solution - put up posters of your topless favourite male actors. Make them beer-bellied old dudes insecure! ;)

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#14

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Temperature in the office must be suitable for everybody. Very often women and their health suffer because the temperature in offices is set to accommodate the male body.

A period products dispenser in the ladies‘ toilets is always welcome.

Ceasing to treat women like informal secretaries would make a difference. No, Cassie doesn’t have to write the protocol to the meeting. Neither should Jenny be responsible with organizing the team building or office party. Samantha doesn’t have to gather the money for Chris‘ birthday present and spend her own personal time buying his gift on behalf of the team just because „she’s really good at it.“

Phigwyn , Dan LeFebvre Report

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Adam Belaire
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

IMO office temp should always be slightly cooler. It's more appropriate to put on layers than it is to take off layers. Err...so I'm told at least!

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#15

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Making things that actually fit.

I work construction. We're given protective gear and most of it is too big for the women on site, and all the while they tell you that wearing baggy clothing is dangerous. We're all given rain gear and they have sizes up to 4xl but they don't buy smalls, so mine doesn't fit. They don't order small gloves. They don't order small harnesses. They gave us all congratulatory jackets for reaching a particular milestone. Mine is too big.

It seems small but it turns into a nagging reminder that you don't belong and that "this place isn't made for you"

Just making sure that you have access to the right equipment goes miles and i think people will do a better job when they feel heard and respected. How can i expect to do a good job when my gloves don't even fit properly?

typeyhands , Allan Mas Report

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Kraneia The Dancing Dryad
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I used to run a propane torch. We were given welding jackets for protection. The smallest size they had was XXL. I looked like a little girl wearing daddy's work clothes lol

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#16

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women It’s all the behaviour of men so I don’t know how to change that but the small things I would love to see go, are:

- being called “love” “sweetheart” or “darling” by my older male co-workers
- being touched on the waist in order to get my attention rather than tapping my shoulder or calling my name
- male bosses casually referring to their “b***h” ex wives and their “whore” ex girlfriends to the other men in the room while I have to pretend I’m not there
- when a department that has a female boss or a mostly female team is doing something and it’s “the girls are doing their thing” but every other department is “the team working hard”.
- all the older women in work being mocked and told they’re “getting too old for this job” by men that aren’t that much younger than them
- everything to do with cleaning and tidiness is left for female colleagues, even if it isn’t their job.
- male colleagues coming to ask for advice and emotional support and to listen to their problems but never returning that effort or offering a real friendship. Basically being their free therapist. And if you don’t want to listen, you’re a “cold b***h”.
- when a woman is hard to work with or bad at her job, there’s a smugness amongst the men because they see it as evidence that women aren’t up for the higher positioned jobs.
- when a woman gets promoted, I have to hear all the men have conversations about how she only got it because she’s a woman
- when I make complaints about co-worker harassing me, I’m told to “talk it out” with them, as if I’m the one making a problem.
- co-workers that are old enough to be my dad, staring at my chest non stop and everyone defending him because “he’s a laugh”.

thanarealnobody , Yan Krukau Report

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Marie Dahme
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh my God, run from that toxic environment. It’s going to seriously affect your mental health.

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#17

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women - Bins for tampons and pads by the toilets. That preferably also are sound proofed and not right to someone's office...

- I think most humans are unhappy in open offices. I know I would detest it.

eiroai , Karolina Grabowska Report

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Susanna Vesna
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why would you need to discard of your tampon ANYWHERE but a toilet? (P.S. By "toilet" I mean discarding it in a dustbin that is INSIDE a toilet/bathroom. NOT flushing it).

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#18

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Flexible work schedules. Make it possible for a parent to leave at 4:30 to pick up their kids from school. And sick leave. Women are more likely than men to have to leave work to care for a sick child or parent. Don’t punish them for that, it’s society’s doing.

MuppetManiac , MART PRODUCTION Report

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Fembot
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And let’s welcome men in schools, and normalize child care by dads.

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#19

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Life outside the office is horrendously imbalanced for women. We do most of the housework and childcare.

My office is 100% work from home and 100% flexible hours. As long as you log all required hours within the pay period (2 weeks) and attend your client meetings you can work whenever you want.

The men are like, "neat" but the women are like, "thank you this makes a huge difference in my life."

rf-elaine , Liliana Drew Report

#20

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Decent parental leave policies make it more inclusive to women.

anon , Sarah Chai Report

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TotallyNOTaFox
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

We in Germany have generous parental leave policies for both parents. Either the mother can stay home for the whole time, split the time with the father or go to work while the father stays at home.

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#21

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Bigger toilets for women: normally in workplaces both toilets occupy an equal area. The thing is that women need more time on the toilet, as we have to deal with periods etc. Also, we can only use a WC, so, if we have the same space as in a men's toilet, inevitably less WCs are going to fit in the room. Probably it's sounds silly, so let me put a personal example: when I was in College, after some classes, it was very common for the women to take longer to get to the next class than men, as we almost always have to wait to use the toilet.

Also tampons etc in toilets, as someone commented, are a great idea.

And another silly idea: adapting spaces thinking on the different heights between men and women, in my job I'm the only one who needs a stool to reach certain tools, and some times I even need to ask for help. Now that I think about it, I need also a footrest in my desk due to the height of the table, as my feet don't touch the ground even in high heels lol

Also is fundamental to have a clear politic about sexual harassment, but that's another story.

EyoneGa , Darina Belonogova Report

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Veronica Jean
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The fact that you gave two great ideas and called them both silly speaks volumes of the problem. Your ideas are not silly, I think they are well thought through and great <3 Thank you for sharing

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#22

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women A well-balanced number of men and women on all levels of hierarchy usually does the trick.

schwarzmalerin , Alena Darmel Report

#23

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women When chairing meetings, have a way of ensuring that people who have something to contribute, will be heard when they do so.

It happens far too often that a woman or a new team member is cut off part way through expressing something, only for a more senior or male coworker to say the same thing later and get all of the credit for it. It’s rare that the person bringing it up later will hand the credit back; even rarer for someone to say “I’d like to hear more about what [original idea presenter] was saying earlier about [idea], would you mind?”

By doing this, you’re also fostering talent by making sure employees feel heard, and are recognized for what they contribute.

kellerae , fauxels Report

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Miss Frankfurter
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Put an offer out to everyone who is interested in participating in a special project. Don’t always give it to the same special group. When the new wing of the hospital was being built they wanted nurse input on design for patients and making our job easier. . No one even heard about that except for the same “special” group. I have a great deal of knowledge about designing things like that. Never heard about the request for a work group. When I looked at the computer blueprints AFTER (for emphasis) the addition was finished, I looked at it and oh no, this is not going to work. None of it! Well, when we toured the unit I was even more discouraged. Really not going to work! Everyone else was singing its praises. Until we started to work on the unit. Everything I saw that was wrong about the design came to fruition. Include everyone on a team. Women, men, different races, backgrounds etc. purposely look for that when putting it together. Open the meeting to all to contribute.

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#24

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Be actively inclusive of women in your space. I work in STEM and am often the only woman on the team. I am by default not included in informal social, team building things like grabbing lunch together, a drink after work etc. When someone doesn't look like to rest of you, it's important to actively include them.

It's not enough to not be excluding of them, you need to actively be inclusive of them.

recyclopath_ , fauxels Report

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wowbagger
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is a huge problem in some male-dominated fields. When I was a young academic, I'd watch my male co-workers get asked out for drinks or raquetball games or whatever by the older men in the department, and they'd get a lot of mentoring and one-on-one help with their research during these get-togethers. I wasn't ignored; I got invited to family dinners or group outings, but never to one-on-one things. I'd invite male co-workers to one-on-one things sometimes, but then their wives would express discomfort with it and the meetings would stop. I've never been so lonely in my life.

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#25

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Pumping room with a soft, comfortable chair, and easily accessible electrical outlets.

Better yet, onsite childcare who will bring your baby to you a few times a day to breastfeed.

searedscallops , MART PRODUCTION Report

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RP
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Bettet yet: government sponsered parental leave for a minimum of 12 months

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#26

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women More inclusive:

* flexibility of work hours/sick time (so that those with bad periods, monthly migraines, etc can adapt work schedules accordingly)

More hostile:

* discouragement of open and honest discussions about salary and/or hourly wages and bonuses

Doon672 , Cristian Tarzi Report

#27

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women My workplace is pretty good for this. Putting aside physical workplace issues, flexibility around childcare issues are a big thing. If a school age kid gets sick, allowing a parent to work from home so they can stay with them and other things like that help so much.

peppermind , Anastasia Shuraeva Report

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Stephanie Barr
Community Member
11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I am beyond grateful for my employer who has been completely accommodating for my needs. More employers need to follow suit.

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#28

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Ask everyone, ideally through an anonymous survey, what they would like to see to make the office more inclusive. Sometimes individual offices have things you wouldn't see on some standard list.

Scopeexpanse , Pixabay Report

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2picklesinabun
Community Member
11 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At least in the U.S., don't expect much. Employers tend to do the minimum because they don't want to spend any more than necessary.

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#29

"Office's Stairs Are See-Thru": 29 Things That Make Offices Uncomfortable For Women Keep the temperature turned up a degree or two higher than the “normal”. Goes for heater and AC.

My last workplace was all men, no matter what I wore I got cold sitting at the computer all day. My nails would turn blue fairly often, especially after I ate. I eventually left that office bec I was cold all day, everyday, year in, year out, and the male coworkers just kept making it colder. It’s miserable, and I felt like all my energy went into trying to stay warm. I even brought a heating pad to work. I tried using a space heater for my feet but it made my male coworkers in the next cubicle too warm.

Room temps are often set to men’s comfort level in an office space, not women’s.

salmonsashimiplease , thermostat Report

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Benita Valdez
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11 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I posted about this above. I am a female who is not menopausal and find the 68F(20C) temp reasonable in an office; it's too warm for me actually. Not all women require higher Temps and not all men require lower Temps and you will never please everyone. I'm sorry but it's much easier to put extra clothes on than it is to take clothes off at work when you're already down to just a top and pants. I used to wear very light clothing and have a fan going in my cubicle; my new area is cooler for me and I crack a window sometimes. Honestly found temp is set with money saving in mind and not someone's personal preference

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