As young women going out into the workforce, we shouldn’t have to say things like, “Hey girl, I know you had an interview with _____ company, but you should know the manager is a sexist asshat.”

But we do, don’t we?

Sexual harassment isn’t the victim’s fault. And yet when it comes to choosing a workplace, it can feel like a “let the buyer beware” employment landscape. So while we need to keep chipping away at misogynistic attitudes and systems, we also got to get paid . And that means learning to recognize sexist signs.

While you can never guarantee that a workplace will be safe ( and say it with me—it’s not your fault! ), we decided to ask some working women and legal experts about how women can vet potential workplaces.


Even before you apply for a position, you’re going to want to ask about a potential employer’s reputation.

Mary Rowe is an adjunct professor of work and organization studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management. “There is no substitute for being able to talk with women and men at the proposed workplace and being able to interview with the specific people to whom you would be reporting—and ideally even with members of any team you would be joining. See if you like and respect them. Are they respectful toward you?” she said.


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