Citation Note

Based on generalized experiences; 5 pages.

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A young Turkish woman at a Dutch-British firm is subject to constant teasing of her appearance by her male colleagues. She considers it harassment and even sexism, but the teasers say it is just good-willed humor. Is it really a form of sexism or does she overreact to cultural differences?


This is a multilayered case about benevolent sexism based on real-life experiences. It offers rich discussion around cultural diversity, organizational culture, and gender. Participants reflect on issues around leadership, power, “office” humor, resilience, and sexism in the workplace. In particular, the case makes them appreciate the distinctions and similarities between benevolent sexism and hostile sexism and how the former is by no means benign.

Case Study