A business worker who used TikTok became famous for sharing a tale about how the recruiting manager of the team informed her directly that she wouldn’t be getting the promotion she deserved because he wanted to get physical with her.
Her story serves as an example of how women everywhere must continually worry that their outward looks may hinder their ability to advance in their employment, whether they believe they are too pretty or not attractive enough to their male superiors.
The latter happened to Kathryn Hofman in a way that was very simple. Her tale is already upsetting, but it also makes me think of all the similar incidents in which a manager lied about the justification for declining to recruit or promote a woman when the true justification was a manager’s failure.
When Hofman was employed by a toilet paper manufacturer at the age of 22, she had just graduated from college. When the area she had been promised disappeared, she joined their “internal sales organization” until she could locate new territory to take over.
She got along well with everyone and appeared to be prepared to advance in her profession when the chance to attend a “sales launch” with a team she hoped to be promoted into presented itself. The team’s recruiting manager then told her she wasn’t receiving the promotion due to something she had no influence over, yet he did in a single statement, crushing her hope and optimism.
“The recruiting manager and I had a chat on the very last night of kickoff, but by the conclusion of sales kickoff, it was clear that I fit in very, really well with the team,” Hofman says in the TikTok video.
“Cocktails and a band there, all that jazz, you know. And he said just as he did when he told me he couldn’t hire me because he wanted to fuck me. literally said, “I can’t employ you because I want to fuck you,” to my face.”
Hofman, who was 22 at the time, naturally fled to the lavatory to cry, but the manager made matters worse by following her into the women’s room. The young and distressed lady “physically had to make him go,” according to the manager. This raises several pertinent issues. Why was this individual given the authority to oversee hiring?
Why can’t or won’t he control his urges and behave appropriately like an adult? Why would anybody believe that this was a good excuse not to hire someone, and isn’t it handy that most of the decision-makers are straight guys who just can’t hire any number of women because they seem to have no control over their genitalia? Unfortunately, and as is frequently the case with HR departments, this was and still is blatant gender discrimination. This is because HR works to protect the business, not the employees.
“Let’s just say that it didn’t work out well for me as the manager received no punishment,” Hofman stated.
Unfortunately, situations like these—and bosses like them—occur frequently. According to a 2017 Pew Research Center study, 42% of women say they have experienced gender-based employment discrimination. In addition, 22% said they had been the victim of sexual harassment at work. Hofman continued by advising other young ladies to keep in mind that if they find themselves in a similar circumstance, it is absolutely not their fault. Additionally, they should look for more seasoned women in the organization to stand with them rather than turning to HR.
“What I want you to do is to locate the cynical old lady when it occurs to you, and I say when because it will tragically happen to you. I’m 30 now. I am a pessimist. We’ll have your back because that’s crucial, and we’ve been there, so go find me on your team.”
Hofman was recently interviewed by BuzzFeed about her experience and how it made her feel. The video was just uploaded this year on International Women’s Day in March. She stated that she had put a lot of personal effort into undoing the victim-blaming and internalized sexism that she learned from a patriarchal society, which made her question whether it was her fault that the boss found her attractive.
“We must all relearn victim blaming and internalized sexism, she continued, which are gifts of a patriarchal culture.”
“I just so happened to have my first experience in this narrative. For me to defend myself in situations where Kathryn, then 22, would have felt at fault, I had to work hard on my own behalf to unlearn my own internalized sexism.”
What are your thoughts on the patriarchy in the workplace? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Kat on TikTok
Images & Featured Images via Kat on TikTok