Rosemary Donahue
June 20, 2016 11:43 am
Getty / Justin Sullivan

Last week, a Google investor made a huge gaffe during a shareholder meeting — when he wanted to ask chief financial officer Ruth Porat a question, he addressed it to “the lady CFO,” though “lady” is not part of her job title, nor a qualification for being a CFO. Porat answered his question without acknowledging what had happened, but a few minutes later, another shareholder named Danielle Ginach went back to address the sexism, and said, “I am sorry to put another shareholder on the spot,” she said. “But Ms. Porat is the CFO, not the lady CFO.”

Giphy

This may sound like a small event, but instances of sexism like this happen all the time — and they can add up. Now, other people at Google (both men and women!) are taking a stand against sexism and adding the word “lady” to their titles to point out how ridiculous the comment was, and why we need to pay attention to our word choices. So, that means instead of being Assistant Editor, I’d officially become Lady Assistant Editor, and so forth.

This has now gone further than Google. Pat Wadors, Lady SVP of Global Talent Organization, has posted a call to action on LinkedIn for other people, no matter where they work or what they do, to change their titles and protest sexism in the workplace.

They also made last Thursday and Friday “Lady Day,” though no word yet on what exactly that entailed, besides the changing of titles — but sign me up anyway!

Advertisement