People are applauding one woman on TikTok after she was grossly objectified by several men during a work meeting and then boldly called them out for it.
Whitney Rose (@whitneyrose617) is a former beauty queen who won the title of Miss Massachusetts USA in 2016. Since then, she’s made a name for herself working in corporate sales and is pretty proud of everything she’s managed to accomplish over the past six years.
That said, Rose is also well aware that the corporate world can be just as brutal as the pageant circuit in different yet similar ways. But as she demonstrates in her now-viral TikTok, it’s essential for women to stick up for themselves, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable it might make people feel in the moment.
According to her video, Rose was on a Zoom call with a vendor when someone on the other team shared their screen and accidentally exposed a group chat that was happening between several men. As Rose quickly learned, they weren’t talking about the meeting or even anything work-related. Instead, they were talking about her — and she could see right away that the commentary was getting pretty “nasty.”
“It’s rough being a woman in a male dominated field,” Rose later captioned her post.
But instead of staying quiet about it, she decided to say something. After all, she wrote in her video caption, “It’s 2023. Can this stop?”
Rose then hit record on her camera and captured herself confronting the vendor team about what she’d seen.
“Well, first of all, if we’re going to continue working together I want to work with a woman sales representative,” she began, “because I don’t want to have to read locker room talk about myself when you’re sharing screens.”
“I know that was a mistake,” Rose began before someone on the Zoom call interrupted her to say, “it was an inexcusable mistake.”
Since Rose first shared the video on Jan. 24, it’s received more than 13.7 million views and inspired women across the internet to come forward and thank her.
“THIS IS AMAZING,” wrote one user.
“Love that you called them out!” said another. “You deserve respect.”
“Wow. You did this without a quiver in your voice,” wrote someone else, who then declared her a “QUEEN!!!!”
One woman applauded Rose’s “class, grace and strength,” while another called out her “incredible composure and professionalism.”
But perhaps one of the coolest comments came from Barbara Corcoran, a successful entrepreneur and one of the investors on ABC’s Shark Tank, who left an applause emoji, along with two simple words: “You rock!”
But while many people praised Rose’s handling of the whole thing, they were less than impressed with how things were dealt with on the other end of the call.
“Ya know, I’ve still not heard the words ‘I AM SORRY,'” one person pointed out.
Another commenter said it sounded like the rep on the other line didn’t want to “accept the fault” and dodged the blame by not giving a straight-up apology.
“Drop the company name,” another woman urged. “As a fellow woman in tech, they need to be known.”
For what it’s worth, someone from the company did reach out to apologize soon after learning about the incident. But according to Rose, the message left a lot to be desired.
“How not to apologize in corporate America 101,” she captioned her post before sharing a screenshot of the email she later received.
While the company rep did say he “sincerely apologized” for what happened and was “dedicated to turning this around,” he wasn’t actually able to resolve things the way she wanted him to.
“I understand that you would like to work with a female moving forward,” the rep said, “However I do not have anyone skilled enough to assist you that is a female.”
Rose called them out in her response video on this one, too.
“Why don’t you hire someone?” she asked. “There are plenty of talented women out in the field. Honestly, it would be an honor for you to have them join your company.”
Eventually, a VP of sales for the company also reached out, but that didn’t go so well, either.
According to Rose, the VP didn’t call in response to her viral TikToks — in fact, Rose claimed he actually had no idea it had even become a thing. Instead, he called her to basically “do damage control” and save the sale.
Ultimately, the company lost her business. But on the flip side, Rose gained a ton of respect from thousands of women across the internet and gave them a blueprint for how to handle these kinds of situations in the future.
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