Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, which began as a website where people could share their experiences of daily, normalized sexism, from street harassment to workplace discrimination to sexual assault and rape. The Project became a viral sensation, attracting international press attention from the New York Times to French Glamour, Grazia South Africa to the Times of India, and support from celebrities such as Rose McGowan, Amanda Palmer, Mara Wilson, Ashley Judd, James Corden, and Simon Pegg. The project has now collected over 100,000 testimonies from people around the world and launched new branches in 25 countries worldwide. It was also featured at Beyonce’s Chime for Change concert in 2013, and Laura spoke at the United Nations in New York about the project’s findings in 2014.
Laura works with politicians, schools, organizations, and businesses, as well as bodies from the Council of Europe to the United Nations. She represented the New York-based organization Women Under Siege as part of the UK government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, tackling rape in conflict zones worldwide. A collaboration with the British Transport Police on the ‘Project Guardian’ initiative allowed the Everyday Sexism Project’s data to be used to directly train 2000 police officers on the London transport system to help crack down on sexual offenses. This initiative resulted in a 30% rise in reports of sexual offenses on public transport and a 30% rise in the detection of offenders.
Laura writes regularly for the Guardian, the Independent, and TIME, among others. She was named 9th in the BBC Woman’s Hour Power List and has been named a Woman of the Year by Cosmopolitan, Red Magazine, and the Sunday Times. She won the Women in Journalism Georgina Henry Award at the 2015 British Press Awards and was awarded a British Empire Medal by the Queen in the 2015 Birthday Honours List. She was also recently presented the digital media award at the Women’s Media Center Women’s Media Awards. Her book, Everyday Sexism, was published in the U.S. in April 2016.
Everyday SexismThe Project that Inspired a Worldwide Movement
A Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin
The Everyday Sexism Project was founded by writer and activist Laura Bates in April 2012. It began life as a website where people could share their experiences of daily, normalized sexism, from street harassment to workplace discrimination to sexual assault and rape.
Everyday Sexism in Education An in-depth look at the ways in which sexism manifests itself across schools and college campuses, from curricula to frat parties and initiations. Using entries submitted to the Everyday Sexism Project from students around the world, Bates breaks down the multiple different strands of the problem and demonstrates how it can flourish and take on particular forms within an education environment. This talk places sexism in education within the wider context of gender inequality, considers the intersection of campus sexism with other forms of prejudice such as racism and homophobia, and looks at positive movements for change being led by students.
Workplace Sexism and Sexual Harassment With over 20,000 entries to the Everyday Sexism Project from women in the workplace, Bates uses a wealth of examples to breakdown the complex and diverse forms workplace gender inequality can take, from unfair hiring practices to maternity discrimination, sexual harassment to the gender pay gap. Alongside this examination of the problem, she looks at the particular issues that often prevent reporting in the workplace including a power imbalance between victim and perpetrator and fear of career disruption. Ending with a range of solutions that can be implemented by businesses and organizations, and a robust business case for the profitability of equality and diversity within firms.
Political Sexism Breaking down the different ways in which political gender inequality manifests itself internationally, including social norms that dissuade girls from taking a political career path, enormously sexist media representations of female politicians and their impact, sexist political institutions and figures, and the abuse and harassment of female politicians.
Sexism and the Media An in-depth analysis of the media's portrayal of women, including airbrushing and body image, and an examination of the media's portrayal of men and pressures placed on them. Also a look at advertising and its use of dehumanized women's bodies, and women's magazines and their treatment of gender stereotypes and the impact of problematic reporting of sexual violence.
The Double Edged Sword of Social Media Looking at the huge positives and negatives of new digital technologies, setting the mobilisation of social media by the feminist movement against the horrendous abuse and threats faced by women working online. Including an analysis of major online campaigns and resources, a detailed look at the different manifestations of online abuse and an examination of the arguments around 'freedom of speech' online and how we manage this delicate balance as we move forwards in an ever more technologically advanced age.
Flexible seminars and interactive workshops are also available to focus on a range of different topics tailored to particular audiences and age groups, including: Specific Industries (law, medicine, academia, business, etc.), Body Image, Consent, Sex and Relationships, Career, Inherent Bias, Victim Blaming, and Cyber Bullying.
Read Laura Bates’ picks for 5 books on how to achieve gender equality for The Guardian. Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism profiled in the Belfast Telegraph. Laura Bates discusses everyday sexism with the Huffington Post. Laura sits down with MSNBC to talk about feminism and the 2016 presidential election. Read more interviews with Laura from sherights and Ravishly. Read the New York Times‘ profile on Laura and the Everyday Sexism Project. Listen to how the #EverydaySexism project is empowering women everywhere on PRI/ The Takeaway. Check out Laura’s work for Time magazine on equal pay, Hilary Clinton, Megyn Kelly, Kesha, and more. Read more reviews of Everyday Sexism from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. Check out the stories of real women on Every Sexism Project’s website. Find out more about Laura Bates and follow her on Twitter.
– Cathy Scott-Burt, Head of Enrichment, Bablake School
“Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Thank you so much - by far one of the most engaged audiences we've had and I'm not surprised - as someone has said it's just such a beautifully simple idea it's delightful to see the fires it's lit. Really well done.”
– Elaine Arthur, Account Manager, Ogilvy
“Many thanks for your fantastic talk at GSS. For many people, yours was the highlight of the conference.”
– Max Harris, Global Scholars Symposium, Oxford University
“Your visit last time was truly inspirational for all. It was a wonderful highlight of the year… a truly fabulous session. If I may say so, there was no finer guest speaker in my nineteen years here.”
– Simon Etheridge, Bishop’s Stortford High School
“On behalf of the partners of Taylor Wessing LLP I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Laura for presenting at our offices last week. Her presentation was pitched at just the right level and was considered by us all to be a huge success – hard hitting but thoughtful and insightful at the same time. We've had some great feedback from many of the attendees and that is exactly what we were hoping to achieve.”
– Tandeep Minhas, Partner, Taylor Wessing LLP
“What an inspirational talk for us! Thank you so much for delivering such an empowering and encouraging message with such clarity, confidence and intelligence. Girls and staff were all raving about it afterwards.”
– Lucy Elphinstone, Headmistress, Francis Holland School
“Easily the best speaker I have had the pleasure to invite to Bablake, Laura pitched her talk perfectly, according to the age of her audience. Eloquent, professional and with a message that every school has a duty to convey to its pupils, I will be hoping to book Laura for further talks at Bablake every year. Laura is an inspiration to everyone and a perfect role model for all young men and women in the UK and beyond.”
– Mark Woodward, Head of Careers, Bablake School
“Thank you so much for this evening's lecture. I have already had so much positive feedback from the people attending. Lots of people commented on what an engaging speaker you are. I think many people were quite shocked at some of the things they heard, which is very telling given that we are all dealing with cases of workplace discrimination on a daily basis. Thank you for a fascinating and thought provoking speech.”
– Jude Shepherd, Barrister, 42 Bedford Row Chambers
“She had a large and very appreciative audience. It was one of the most interesting and inspirational session we have had in my 18 years here.”
– Jonathan Godfrey, Principal, Hereford Sixth Form College
“I found your talk this morning really incredible, thank you for coming in. It was a fascinating and enlightening hour and great to meet you.”
– Emily Collins, Community Manager, Ogilvy & Mather Group
“I have received many positive comments from staff and boys alike about the day and I would like to thank you once again for the tremendous work that you did for us.”
– Dr Bob Stephenson, Deputy Headmaster, Eton College
“A thought provoking and topical discussion… fascinating points. Had to hold back the tears during Laura Bates’ list of discriminatory statements” … “Really interesting and stimulating, thank you.” … “An interesting and lively discussion.” … “Absolutely fantastic discussion…knowledgeable & eloquent” … “Excellent thought provoking session. Certainly left a lot of food for thought on what needs to be done so that we really have equality for everyone” … “Really encouraging. The woman from everyday sexism was especially excellent.”
– Feedback from attendees at the Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference
“I just wanted to write and pass on my personal thanks for your lecture and visit to Newcastle University last week; it really was one of the highlights of the year (and perhaps my most favourite event in the 6 years I’ve been doing this job!). It was so well received by our audience, and people are still talking about it – always a good sign! The atmosphere on the night and the support of all those attending was so powerful I felt, it was just brilliant, and I hope you enjoyed your time here! Friends and colleagues that couldn’t make it have been listening to the recording online and are passing on such lovely feedback and appreciation that we were able to bring you to the North East. So a huge thank you once again!”
– Umbereen Rafiq, Public Lectures and Events Officer, Newcastle University
“I really cannot thank you enough for coming in to Grey Coat. You are a woman of such substance who speaks so well. Everything was pitched at exactly the right level to motivate the students and keep them thinking and talking. I know how daunting it is to stand in front of a sea of so many young faces. Even after 18 years I find it so. I also find it very moving when the young women and men in my care are privileged enough to hear someone like you and they sit rapt and completely inspired.”
– Patricia Bond, Head of Year 12, Grey Coat Hospital School
“People are still talking about your visit, and coming up and congratulating me/us for having arranged it. Never had so many enquiries about a recording either.”
– Dr Martin Farr, Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University
“Thank you so much for coming to speak at Headington today. What you said and the way in which you said it made big impact on both the staff and the girls. I've heard from many staff that period 6 today began with an impromptu (and at times heated) debate because the pupils were so keen to talk about what you'd said. I imagine there will have been a lot of discussions at home with parents tonight, too. Thank you for starting those conversations and for improving the quality of dialogue we, as teachers, can have with our pupils.”
– Elizabeth Soar, Enrichment Co-ordinator, Headington School
“Thank you so much for coming down yesterday. I saw a number of the boys in the evening, and they were full of admiration and praise for your talk, and for you, and very positive about their role in what you are trying to achieve.”
– Christopher Ellott, Head of English, Radley College
“We really enjoyed having you at KAS last week. Our students had been counting down the days until you arrived, and as you probably picked up they were thrilled to have you speak to them. Thanks again--it was an absolute pleasure to have you here, and a real inspiration for our students.”
– Sheila Hanlon, Education and Development Assistant, King Alfred School
“Thanks again SO much for coming to speak today. So many people have told me how much they enjoyed your talk and I think the event was a huge success!”
– Karen Desborough, University of Bristol
Praise for Everyday Sexism:
"Laura Bates book Everyday Sexism is powerful and very effective. Going to become required reading for my boys."
—Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, President of International at The New York Times
“It is as uncomfortable a read as it is laudable. I shall relish giving it to my goddaughters and sons, niece and nephews.”
“Often shocking, sometimes amusing and always poignant, everyday sexism is a protest against inequality and a manifesto for change. It's 'a game-changing book, a must-read for every woman.”
“Admirable and culturally transferable. 'A storm is coming,' writes Bates. After reading this book you'll hope so.”
“This is an important work and if I had my way would be compulsory school reading across the globe.”
“As founder of the Everyday Sexism project, Laura was one of the first women to harness the power of social media to fight sexism and misogyny and give millions of young women a voice.”
“You may think you're familiar with the facts in Everyday Sexism. But nothing can prepare you for the emotional punch of hearing the stories of so many real women, from so many backgrounds, each struggling in a world that refuses to see them as fully human. Laura Bates deftly makes visible the spider web of oppression that holds us back and binds us all together.”
—Jaclyn Friedman, co-author of Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape