VP Defends Herself Against Vendor’s Sexist Conversation in Viral Clip

If you’ve ever gotten a nasty or demeaning comment on a social media post, you know the anger and hurt that ridicule can bring.

Recently, Whitney Sharpe, a 28-year-old vice president at a recruiting and staffing firm, was subjected to degrading comments about her looks, and they were posted in a place she did not expect — the chat box of a work video call she was on.

Sharpe saw a conversation between several potential male clients speaking about her in a derogatory manner when a screen was shared with her that inadvertently revealed the chat.

In a video that’s now been viewed a startling 13.9 million times, Sharpe shared a recording of her telling the men on the video call that she had seen the conversation they had been having about her, and what she thought about it.


It’s rough being a woman in a male dominated field ?

♬ original sound – Whitney

“First of all, if we’re going to continue working together, I want to work with a woman sales representative because I don’t want to have to see locker room talk about myself when you’re sharing screens,” she said bluntly in a calm manner.

The sales rep on the other end of the call tells her that the chat and accidental sharing was “inexcusable” and a mistake but Sharpe wasn’t having it.

“I liked the product. I know it’s good. I know it’s tried and true,” she says, redirecting it back to business. “But I just want to work with a woman if possible.”

Sharpe’s candor and professionalism caught the attention of thousands of commenters, including Shark Tank favorite Barbara Corcoran.

“You rock,” Corcoran exclaimed, to which Sharpe replied that she was her “idol” and gushed that Shark Tank had inspired her so much in her career.

Other users praised Sharpe for her actions even after noticing that the potential vendor on the other end never officially apologized.

“You have class and grace and strength,” one wrote. “Thank you.”

“Wow. You did this without a quiver in your voice,” another pointed out. “QUEEN!!!!”

In a follow-up video, Sharpe shared an email that she received from the VP of the company that she had been working with. Sharpe explains that she didn’t expect the video to blow up the way it did and that she still was less than pleased with the lame apology she received. In the email, she was told that the company didn’t have any female representatives that were “skilled enough” to work with Sharpe.

@whitneyrose617 How not to apologize in corporate America 101 #hrnightmare ♬ Flowers – Miley Cyrus

“Where’s the I’m sorry? If you read this, it’s pretty much like [an] ‘I’m sorry I got caught email.’ It doesn’t seem sincere. It doesn’t come across as genuine or it doesn’t say what actions they’re taking,” she said, frustrated. “I don’t know if they learned anything from this. It’s just really sad that this keeps happening.”

In a third video, Sharpe shared that the VP of sales finally called her instead of just emailing her, but said simply that she would not be conducting business with that vendor.

“I cannot work with a vendor and my company will not support a vendor that does not support women in business,” she said. “It’s just not going to happen.”

Sharpe is based in Boston, Masschusetts. She did not disclose the name of the vendor or her own company.

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