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Are you freezing at work? It’s the great men vs. women workplace air conditioning debate

August 30, 2018

Are you freezing at work? It’s the great men vs. women workplace air conditioning debate

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Are you cold at work?

Office thermostats are stereotypically chilly, in the low 70s in the summer.

That’s “notoriously sexist,” said an aide to New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon. Her campaign asked that the hall for a Wednesday debate against Gov. Andrew Cuomo be set at 76 degrees. Instead, the hall was 69 degrees, according to CBS News.

Women took to social media to debate office temperature.

Many offices still set thermostats today with a decades-old formula built around a man’s metabolic rate, according to a 2016 study highlighted by Today.com. That means when offices crank up the air conditioning, men in suits may be just fine, while women in sleeveless dresses shiver at their desks.

Which is why the practical woman packs a blazer in her work tote -- or leaves a cardigan at her desk.

It’s like the opposite of winter, when you put on outerwear to go inside.

A 2015 study about office temperature said that offices should “reduce gender-discriminating bias in thermal comfort,” according to the New York Times. An Australian study suggests we’d all be more productive if we inched up the thermostat.

Until then, we’ll layer up.

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