We bet you can relate to these darkly funny illustrations capturing the sexism faced by female leaders

Posted by
Hayley Spencer
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It's no secret that women in top roles are often treated far from equally to their male peers.

If you're a female boss or have experienced sexism when asserting yourself at work then this series of illustrations from website The Cooper Review will definitely speak to you.

Writer and comedian Sarah Cooper has documented the impossible duality many women feel they're supposed to show in workplace in order to avoid stepping on the toes of their male colleagues - the pressure to show authority, but not too much, to lead but without overshadowing male colleagues, and to lean in but not too much.

The series of nine "non-threatening leadership strategies" are a satire on the awkward situations faced by women in the corporate world based on stories told to her by female friends and coworkers.

Cooper prefaces the illustrations with her own frustrations, joking "In this fast-paced business world, female leaders need to make sure they're not perceived as pushy, aggressive or competent."

She outlines how women often feel the need to change their leadership style in order to avoid conflict or contempt caused by "the often fragile male ego."

The strategies relate to everything from how to react when a male colleague steals your idea, to email etiquette, to being on the receiving end of sexist comments. And for anyone who's ever felt spoken over, undermined or side-lined due to their sex in the workplace, they'll make you laugh but also rage in recognition.

The takeaway advice? If all else fails wear a mustache to appear more "man-like." A suggestion that is probably as ludicrous as the idea that women should have to temper their authority to avoid appearing threatening to men. 

Sarah Cooper is a writer, comedian, and creator of Her first book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, is out on 4 October. Sign up for her free email newsletter for updates.

Images courtesy of Sarah Cooper/