In a video meeting, prospective clients accidentally shared their screens with objectifying messages about Sharpe.
In a video meeting, prospective clients accidentally shared their screens with objectifying messages about Sharpe. Image Credit: Screengrab from TikTok

A former beauty queen and Boston-based recruiting and staffing professional has gone viral on TikTok recently after she called out employees of a prospective client for “locker room talk” about her during a video meeting.

The 28-year-old former Miss Massachusetts 2016 was on a work video call with the client, when one of the men shared his screen for a demo. He accidentally broadcasted a Teams group chat in which he and two colleagues were discussing her appearance in objectifying terms.

Whitney Sharpe uploaded a video of her on the call with the caption, “When a vendor accidentally shares his group Teams chat and it’s all nasty things about me. It’s 2023, can this stop?”

The video has since been viewed over 13.6 million times.

The video shows Sharpe pausing the conversation with the client, to address the messages about her.

"If we're going to continue to work together, I want to work with a woman sales representative," Sharpe said in the TikTok video

"I don't want to have to see locker room talk about myself when you're sharing screens,” she said.

“It’s an inexcusable mistake,” the voice on the other end of the video meeting answered.

In a Buzzfeed News article, Sharpe was quoted as saying: “I was horrified, because I have worked so hard to get to the point where I’m at in my career. I’m a vice president at my company and I’m one of the highest-up women at my company. And, I feel like I have to work so much harder to prove that I am smart because of the way that I look, and it was just really disheartening to be on a call with a potential vendor where they’re not valuing my company. They don’t value what I have to say. They value what I look like.”

Sharpe had seen the messages at the beginning of the meeting and said she wanted to remain calm, to make the men question whether she had seen them. Calling them out was “nerve-wracking,” she said.

“I was just trying to get through it as calmly and professionally as possible,” she said according to the article. “The last thing I wanted them to be able to say is that I’m just emotional. I was just focusing on getting the words out calmly and not crying.”

In a follow-up, TikTok video Sharpe updated her viewers about an apology email that she had received from the company’s Vice President of Sales.

She was also informed that the company did not have a female sales representative “skilled enough” to work with her, as she had requested. Sharpe called it a “red flag” in her follow-up TikTok video.

In an article on the news website NBC10 Boston, Sharpe added that she would have liked to address “locker room talk” as something different.

“I think locker room talk is putting a pretty bow on something that is not pretty,” she told the outlet. “I should’ve called it for what it was. I should’ve said, ‘I do not stand for sexual harassment’.”

Sharpe has received supportive comments from the likes of Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, well-known TikToker CorporateNatalie, and thousands of others. “You rock,” wrote Corcoran.

“The fact that this conversation was happening within Teams is just a huge red flag for their company culture and not having any women within the team, crazy,” wrote another TikToker @itsjustashleyb.