Worker says company called meeting of only women to tell them to return to the office

@swasey/TikTok Jacob Lund/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘We need to ensure that women are in the office to keep their ambition up’: Worker says company called meeting of only women to tell them to return to the office

'I would have been fired just by the look on my face during this meeting.'


Rachel Kiley


Posted on Dec 7, 2023   Updated on Dec 7, 2023, 10:24 am CST

Despite the past few years proving that several jobs once expected to be done in an office can be done remotely without any issue, many companies are resistant to maintaining something workers clearly want as an option.

But one TikToker was recently shocked to find that her employer was urging women at the company specifically to return to the office.

Amy Swasey (@swasey) told viewers she was recently called into the office, where she works for a consulting company, for a mandatory meeting. When she arrived, she found the meeting was filled with only other female employees. The point of discussion was employees physically coming into the location full-time.

“[The woman who led the meeting] began to call on people by name specifically that she recognized and had seen in the office frequently or full-time or what have you, and asking them to share how it is they come to the office and how it is they motivate themselves and all that good stuff,” Swasey says in the clip.

Another thing Swasey says was frequently discussed was the idea of “ambition,” specifically the belief that women are inclined to throw away their career ambitions for the sake of starting a family.

“So we need to ensure that the women are in the office to keep their ambition up and keep growing their careers,” Swasey recounts a meeting leader communicating.

The TikToker then acknowledges that working in person at the office can also cause a rift in workers’ career ambitions, especially if they have kids to take care of at home.

“Not considering for a second that it is really, really difficult to maintain [ambitions] and continue your career when you’re required to be in the office five days a week, full-time,” she says, “for jobs that can be very easily—and have been for the last 3-4 years—done as work from home, where people can also take care of their children.”

In the clip, the TikToker describes other misogynistic remarks she says were made in the meeting, including the leader dismissing hybrid work because it would be too easy for female employees to forget their key cards in the wrong purse if they weren’t showing up five days a week. Swasey also shares concerns about the emphasis they placed on team leaders tracking how many hours workers their people are actually in the office.

“Anyone who spoke up about their specific circumstance…being more productive working at home was told to have more ambition,” she adds.

Swasey stresses the fact that it was “an hour of professional women being talked down to” that was the most frustrating, rather than if it had been a meeting asking all employees regardless of gender to return.

@swasey I get the “We have buildings we pay for, so get back in the office” convo. This was not that. This was an hour of professional women being talked down to. #povwomeninit #misogynyintheworkplace #misogynymonday ♬ Killing In the Name – Rage Against The Machine

But viewers found both both aspects frustrating, with many expressing annoyance with the way companies are declining to embrace remote or even hybrid work, despite multiple studies showing that workers seem to be more productive with such increased flexibility.

“When managers say they can’t trust ppl to do their work at home that just tells me, they don’t know how to manage & THEY aren’t productive at home,” wrote one user.

“Nope, I would have been fired just by the look on my face during this meeting,” another admitted.

“So why didn’t they just say no one is working from home anymore?” a further viewer asked. “Meeting would have been 10 minutes long.”

Meanwhile, another commenter suggested, “I feel like corporate management lost the rein when we proved during Covid that we don’t need them to be productive. And they are scared.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Swasey via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Dec 7, 2023, 1:00 pm CST