‘Live footage of a woman in STEM’
Women in the workplace have it hard — and that’s a severe understatement. We’re paid less than our male colleagues, we’re consistently mansplained to, and we go above and beyond controlling our temper when men incessantly speak over us while we’re talking during meetings. While all equally as annoying, none is more infuriating than the latter — especially when it happens over Zoom. And one college student’s TikTok has gone viral for showing just that.
“Live footage of a woman in STEM,” Claire McDonnell, a University of Iowa student captioned her now-viral TikTok showing her male classmates repeatedly interrupting her on Zoom. “My male classmates love listening to my input and letting me finish my sentences. True respectful kings.”
McDonnell is one of four women — among nearly 60 men — in her graduate science and finance program. She told Buzzfeed News that no matter how experienced the few women in the program are — she said she has the most real world work experience of them all — “none of the men seem to take us seriously.”
“This happens on a daily basis,” she told the publication. “There would be an assignment we [the other STEM women] would help other classmates with, and they would take credit for it. If we present an idea, whether it’s theoretical or any type of opinion, it’s always like they’re very hesitant to believe it.”
McDonnell continued: “And if they do believe it, then they take the credit like, I already knew that, and repeat it to other people and claim it as their own.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
McDonnell said she initially recorded the video to send to a friend and another woman in the program, to show them what really goes down during her calls for a commercial underwriting group project.
But when she watched it back and realized how relatable the video is — and how it’s such a perfect example of “how often this happens to women in a male-dominated field” — she posted it to TikTok. And since, it’s been viewed more than 2.6 million times.
“I’ve gotten a lot of hate from men and women, random, peers, and program specific invalidating this specific experience and other issues brought up in the Buzzfeed article,” McDonnell wrote in a follow-up TikTok video posted today.
McDonnell continued to say that, since her TikTok’s been covered by several media outlets, she’s received comments from people calling her a liar and telling her she’s “exaggerating” and “being dramatic” about her experience — “as well as the sexual harassment and other sexist actions I talk about in the article.”
For example, McDonnell told Buzzfeed that last year, a professor within the department approached her and another female colleague and asked them if they “understand what’s going on” with regards to the class material.
“From an outside perspective, you almost have to laugh at how awful it is,” she said. “It’s a very serious issue that brings to light how many women experience it. It’s something that needs to change. Men have to be willing to make those changes.”
McDonnell ended her follow-up TikTok thanking those who’ve supported her and shared their own experiences.
“No matter how much hate/backlash I get, I will continue to fight for women’s inclusion and equality,” she wrote.