She’s one of the country’s most respected journalists. Yet throughout her career Tracey Spicer has, unfortunately, not been immune to workplace sexism nor has she remained silent about it.
Speaking with the Australian Women’s Weekly as she prepares to release her “femoir”, the 49-year-old shared one “sickening” incident which has stuck with her decades later.
While she was a well-known television broadcaster, Spicer recalled being sexually harassed at a work Christmas party by one of her seniors.
“He groped around for a second or two and said, ‘Looking good, Trace. Lost a bit of weight, eh?’,” she told the magazine.
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“I actually turned around to slap him, but realised it was one of my bosses. So I just lowered my arm. I said, ‘Yeah, after my mother died, I didn’t feel like eating.’
“He mumbled, ‘Nice a**’ and staggered off.”
The former newsreader for Network Ten, Sky News, and Channel 9 did not reveal the name of the man or the network he worked for.
It’s not the first time the mother-of-two has spoken about bad bosses, however. In a 2015 Debrief Daily article, she recounted a period in the ’80s working under a news director at Channel 9 who routinely commented on her and other female colleagues’ looks.
“I want two inches off your hair and two inches off your arse!” he would command, while also telling the presenters to “stick your tits out more”, she said.
Spicer credits the nurturing camaraderie of other women in the organisation, who formed a “protective pack” around her with pulling her through the stressful period.
Her book Good Girl Stripped Bare, which borrows its title from her popular TED talk slamming the “bullsh*t” beauty standards of the media industry, is due out this week.
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