Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a keynote address during the 28th Annual Professional Business Women of California conference, March 28, 2017, in San Francisco, California. Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended journalist April Ryan and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on Tuesday after both women were the recipients of charged comments that came as the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork was trending on Twitter worldwide. Sexism, which is rampant in the workplace, and racism were to blame for the treatment of the two black women, Clinton said.

“Just look at all that’s happened in the last few days to women who were simply doing their job,” Clinton said during the Professional BusinessWomen of California conference in San Francisco. “April Ryan, a respected journalist with unrivaled integrity, was doing her job just this afternoon in the White House press room when she was patronized and cut off trying to ask a question. One of your own California congresswomen, Maxine Waters, was taunted with a racist joke about her hair.”

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Ryan, a longtime White House correspondent, and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer were engaged in a contentious exchange prompted by a question surrounding President Trump’s administration having alleged ties to Russia. When Spicer did not directly answer Ryan’s question, he apparently took umbrage to her reaction.

"I'm sorry that that disgusts you. You're shaking your head," Spicer said.

The Twitter hashtag was timely as it accompanied tweets that were about "What it's like to be a black woman in the workplace."

Hours earlier, Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly made a choice comment about the hairstyle of Waters, who had addressed the House while railing against Trump on Monday. After seeing footage from Waters’ speech, O'Reilly said, "I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig."

Clinton went on to mention how just because women were used to that type of treatment, especially in the workplace, didn’t mean they had to accept it.

“Now too many women, especially women of color, have had a lifetime of practice taking precisely these kinds of indignities in stride,” she added. “But why should we have to? And any woman who thinks this couldn’t be directed at her is living in a dream world.”

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Ryan would later say she was “roadkill” for Spicer. Waters expressed her gratitude to Clinton for defending her and Ryan.

“Let me thank Hillary Clinton for standing up for all women, in particular for black women,” Waters said. “Let me just say this: I’m a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought to be afraid of Bill O’Reilly or anybody.”