Employee Says Company Called A 'Women-Only' Meeting With Her Co-workers To Say They Needed To Return To The Office

She felt the meeting was both inappropriate and unprofessional.

Woman leading a corporate meeting Fizkes / Shutterstock

TikTok user Swasey started working remotely for a consulting company during the pandemic and it seemed like a great fit. A workplace full of intelligent, educated, and driven co-workers — many of whom were women — brought a sense of productivity and community to her corporate workplace.

However, she was caught off-guard when she was called into the office for a mandatory in-person meeting to discuss several agenda topics moving into the new year. When she arrived, one thing stood out. It was only her fellow female co-workers in the room. 


Her company addressed all women in a meeting to ‘return to the office’ and specifically called out mothers for their ‘decreasing ambition.’ 

Although there were several talking points on the agenda, Swasey pointed out they spent the entire hour talking about a return to the office.

After several months of working remotely, a perk that was agreed upon when she was permanently onboarded, her company leaders were pushing for a  full return to the office. 



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During the pandemic, many offices and companies implemented a work-from-home strategy targeted at keeping businesses afloat during lockdowns. The culture that spawned from the “work-from-home strategy” ultimately made life much easier for many employees and afforded them flexibility and opportunities not limited to geography or structured hours. 

In the past year, many companies have decided to return to the office despite the benefits to both employee morale and productivity.

Swasey’s consulting company, one that was previously remote before the pandemic, decided to jump on the bandwagon of forcing employees to start working from a physical office. However, their motivations and initiatives for rolling out this new policy were strangely communicated and many employees started questioning the misogyny and sexism behind the decision. 

Not only was working in person never communicated as a requirement, but the company dismissed any hybrid or flexible options during the meeting. 

“The women leading the meeting,” Swasey said, “overused the word ‘ambitious’ when talking to the women in the room — suggesting that ‘ambitious’ co-workers were returning to the office and would have better odds of receiving promotions.” 


United States Census data showed that while work-from-home policies were relatively small, at just around 5% of all employees, before the pandemic, in 2021 that statistic had grown to almost 18% of workers



Swaset explained how company leaders applauded the “ambitiousness” of the employees they had seen in the physical office space and even mentioned that one employee “has a child and comes to the office anyway — so she’s a role model.” 

RELATED: Woman Feels Happier With A Remote Job So She Can Work In Her 'Safe Space' At Home


With the flip of a coin, this employer decided that it was time for everyone to come back ignoring the benefits clearly shown by research over the past year. 

Despite research that proved remote workers were more productive, the company pushed their employees to return to the office.

A Business News Daily article from October 2023 presented research that showed increased productivity for employees working from home.

Swasey’s company argued, however, that their remote workers, specifically the women they gathered together in their meeting, were becoming less “ambitious” in their work-from-home environments. They actually said, “Women become less ambitious in their career after having families” and working from home was only making it worse. 

“Jobs become less important,” Swasey’s leader said in the meeting, “so we ensure women are in the office to keep their ‘ambition’ up and keep growing their careers.” 


Scientific studies on productivity completely refuted this company’s claims. A comprehensive study from 2023 found that there was no difference in ambition between employees working from home rather than in the office. 

In fact, 80% of work-from-home employees were actively seeking promotion, with just below 79% of in-office workers doing the same. In addition, the study also found that women’s ambitions specifically spiked when given flexible working opportunities. 

Company called a women-only meeting to say they needed to return to the officePhoto: Jacob Lund / Canva Pro


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One thing was made abundantly clear in their meeting, they viewed women as primary caregivers who were likely to have a family. But what about the men in their company? It was a question that Swasey was not afraid to ask. Unfortunately, their response was vague, saying that their “overseas company” had different values. 

Instead of addressing the difficulties of balancing a family and career, this company specifically called out mothers for ‘losing ambition’ in their roles. 

Masha, a career strategist on TikTok, talked through research that proved women were discriminated against in the workplace (more than others) for having a family. Even for families that were splitting the “burden” of children equally, women were specifically harmed in the workplace with lower wages and less time off. 



“Nothing was mentioned about the difficulty of maintaining ‘ambition’ in a career with a family when you’re required to be in office full-time,” Swasey said. “Especially for jobs that can very easily be remote, and have been for four years.”  


The benefits of flexibility that many company CEOs and leaders have been reaping for years are now being felt by average employees across the nation and they’re not going to forget it. 

Especially with an expansion of companies deciding to switch to a fully remote atmosphere, many employees would rather take on the risk of leaving their job than stay in one that isn’t listening to their needs or respecting their personal choices. 

RELATED: Why One Company's 'Strange' Return To Office Mandate Is Actually The Only One That Makes Sense

Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture analysis and human interest stories.