Women shared the ‘female duties’ sexist men asked them to do despite not being their job – 23 proper shockers

Workplace sexism is hopefully not as bad as it once was and not just because people aren’t in the workplace as much as they used to be.

But it hasn’t gone away – far from it – as the responses to this question by newmama1991 over on Reddit shows only too well (and depressingly).

‘What “female duties” have you been asked in the workplace even through it wasn’t your job?’

We’ve read the replies – well, quite a few of them – so you don’t have to, and these 23 were proper shockers.


‘I was asked at an all-men workplace if I could possibly take some time off during my lunch break to clean the kitchen, because “we really don’t know how to do it well”.

‘I remember I was so shocked I only responded with a gaping mouth and a “…no??”, but I have a feeling I radiated rage because they just gave me a timid nod, left and did not ever ask again.’


‘I was asked to clean the men’s toilets, as they were a mess. I said loudly that the men could clean their own toilets, there’s nothing about that job that requires a vagina.

‘Total silence for a minute as everyone stared in disbelief at me, and the next week the boss hired a cleaner.’


‘My boss started buying all sorts of kitchen tools (e.g., pots and pans, rice cooker, portable burner, etc.). I thought it was for the annual Christmas raffle he hosts for his employees.

‘Until one day at lunch, he turns to me and says, “once the burner arrives, be sure to make a list of groceries you will need to start making lunch for the office. I assume you know how to cook since you are a woman.”

‘We work in a small office and I’m in HR…’


‘Unload the dishwasher. The company owner told me to, specifically cause I’m a woman.

‘A guy coworker was with me and instantly started doing it. I love him.’


‘I wasn’t exactly asked but someone mentioned that “we could have some coffee” and stared at me (like an unspoken request) and I stared right back :)’


‘Once in a male dominated office environment, I was asked by an older senior level manager to send a fax. I was in a higher level position myself, but I said “sure” and did it for him. The next time I needed a fax sent, I went over to him and asked if he would send it for me. He eyed me, then got up and sent it. We were great pals after that!’


‘I do the accounting and payroll and they asked me to take over the task of cleaning of the offices; vacuuming, bathrooms, and trash cans. I did agree to it for an extra $500 a month lmao and honestly it takes like 30-45 min a week to do and the bathrooms are much less scary than they used to be so its a win-win for me :)’


‘Once I was eating sliced radishes at my desk. My male coworker saw that, said he loved radishes, and asked if I could get some for him and throw on some salt. When I suggested he slice his own, he literally said it was too much work.

‘Same co-worker suggested to a room full of male students that I should provide them all with snacks. When I laughed thinking it was a joke, he looked at me dead serious and told me it was MY JOB because I’m a woman and then accused me of wanting them to go hungry. F that noise.’


‘I had a manager who couldn’t adhere to a deadline to save his life. He said that it was my job to remind him of his deadlines (because I’m female and therefore naturally organised), and would actually try to penalise me in my performance review for any deadlines he missed.’


‘I used to have a male boss who in meetings would always look at me and say, “you’re taking notes right?” I wasn’t in an admin role and he also never said the same to my male coworkers. I would then stop bringing any pens or paper with me other than meeting materials so I could say “no, but maybe [Joe] can”, and watch him wrestle with that for a minute in awkward silence.’


‘Cleaning, taking notes, putting together potlucks/events, taking over for the receptionist when they’re at lunch.

‘ETA: I pull the helpless incompetence when people tell me to make coffee. I don’t drink coffee and make it as sludgy as I possibly can. They never ask again.’


‘I was a teamlead and one of my laywer-teammembers asked a woman if she was the make up lady on picture day. This woman was the CTO of the company (1000+ employees).’