Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sexism in Switzerland

Switzerland may think it's neutral, but my experiences and facts prove otherwise.

Here are some facts:

1. Swiss women are paid 20% on average less than male counterparts. (
2. Swiss women did not get the right to vote until 1971.
3. Swiss women that do work and are married are taxed at a higher rate.

Here are some personal experiences:

1. Being taken to a strip club for a meeting while the top boss laughs because he can't wait to see my reaction.
2. Having a top manager consistently say "hi" in a different tone of voice than is used with male colleagues.
3. Having a boss saying he was excited about employing a new female worker because she was "hot"
4. Watching as a top manager gives a stripper his business card so he can hire her as the new secretary.
5. Having a boss show me an "inspiring" movie clip on YouTube that is scantilly clad women dancing.
6. There are no Swiss women employed in anything other than secretarial positions in my office. All women in higher positions are foreign like me.

My husband has also seen poor behavior among men towards women in his office and other female friends who have worked here have similar experiences. Not that this kind of thing doesn't happen in the US, but because sexual harassement are grounds for dismissal, I just don't think it's as prevelant although I have some personal incidents from the U.S. as well. I'll save those for another time.


Kempeth said...

Just to clarify the taxation thing. This applies to men as well. It's colloquially called the "marriage penalty" and comes from the fact that married couples are taxed together instead of separately. So "thanks" to progressive taxation they usually end up paying more taxes.

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