Today I got a letter from my office's conduct and conflict resolution department stating I allegedly made "sexist comments on two occasions to an anonymous female student".
At my current working environment, where all students are aged between 20 and 24 and banter going back and forth in the office is the norm. (see examples in edit 2)
Me and a co-worker were talking about gender roles in North American society and particularly about how women are susceptible to paying a pink tax on feminized marketed products, female to male wage gaps, and male prioritization in leadership positions. As we were discussing this out loud in the office there were several females present, I do admit I did make subtle remarks on the status quo of females in the workplace, I wasn't open-endedly offending women or making extreme sexist claims but I was stating my perspective on women in the workplace while keeping a civilized tone and neutral argument.
As far as I can remember, multiple people were in and out of the office and the discussion going on could have leaked around to the wrong set of ears, and one particular woman in the office that sits across from me absolutely despises the fact that I make more money than her simply because of the fact that I work in I.T and she works in customer service and my work consists of dealing with 0% of peoples bullshit ( i would envy myself too if I were in her position, and I have stated that the wages should be the other way around to her but evidently that is not how our business runs and I don't decide how the budget is made, HR does that).
I have a court hearing at the end of this working week where I will discuss with my rival colleague who at this point remains anonymous but I highly suspect is the woman who sits across from me the issues pertaining to the alleged "sexist comments" directed toward this anonymous female who felt offended.
What do I say in this open court hearing in order to save my reputation and keep my current job.
EDIT: 5/30/2019 ~ This is at a state university office in the united states for everybody's updated perspective on the employment environment. We are ALL student employee's in the office and problems in the workplace undergo an internal legal due process. I now see that my remarks were misunderstood by the anonymous female and I should be more wise about conversing about sensitive topics in the workplace in order to avoid controversy from fellow peers.
This post garnered more attention than I initially thought would be possible and I have taken into consideration everybody's point of view on how to resolve this conflict in a professional and respectful way during my court hearing on June 7th.
EDIT 2 - 5/30/2019 (I swear to you i am not making this stuff up these are literally things being said out loud in the office I work in just from THIS MORNING)
Examples of typical day to day workplace banter
2. Your salad dressing is disrespectful towards my culture
3. All men should wax their butthole 3. I speak ebonics, not english 4. How did you not know hummus is Mediterranean , you uncultured swine 5. This man is speaking Mexican on the phone (he's speaking spanish) I need help 6. Everytime anonymous changes their weave, everybody thinks that she is a new black woman