Bird, doll, hormonal and other sexist words 'have no place in the workplace'

Sexism in the workplace: 'We should be mindful of words and the effects they can have on a woman', says Special K

More than half of women in the survey found the most offensive term to be "bird" (Getty)

Friday, September 30, 2016

Words such as babe, doll and chick "have negative connotations" and "undermine women", according to the company behind a new study into sexism in the workplace.

Special K carried out a survey of over 2,000 women, asking which words they found most offensive in the workplace. The survey found the most offensive word was bird, with doll, babe, chick and queen bee close behind. Forty percent of respondents said they felt patronised when referred to by such terminology.

Louise Thompson Davies, a spokeswoman for Special K, told Jonny Gould and Ash "The point of the study was to look at words in which women felt undermined.

"They have quite negative connotations. Women found those terms and labels undermined them as a woman. They would like to see more words that are strong, such as 'driven' and 'passionate.' There's a fine line between someone saying 'she must be hormonal' and 'actually she's just driven.'

Thompson declined the opportunity to recommend a ban, but said "what we would be looking at is being more mindful of words and the effects they can have on a woman."

Listen to the full interview to find out more