Business of Men

Male-dominated workplaces are for women too

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Women seem to be second-class citizens in many offices. It’s not just that there is a lack of opportunities, but that men run the workplace from top to bottom. For lots of aspiring ladies, this isn’t the kind of environment one wants to be in on a daily basis. Thanks but no thanks – I’ll try the quiet, little office down the road. The problem is that you’ll be waiting a long time before you find a role which isn’t male-dominated. And, you may be rejecting fantastic career prospects in the process. Sometimes, a girl has got to say enough is enough, and these are the tips that will help.

Sir, Yes Sir

One thing the boys do better than the girls is to take their opportunities with both hands. Business women, especially in the early stages of their careers, tend to sit and wait for a boss to notice their good work. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it works in a fast and competitive workplace which is full of testosterone. Therefore, the key is to speak up and tell your line manager, their line manager, or the CEO what roles you expect. Far from putting them out, a boss should respect your bluntness and confidence.

The thin banter line

First and foremost, harassment is never cool and a woman shouldn’t tolerate it at work. What can be endured, however, are sordid stories or banter which aims to tease. Stereotypically, women have a harder time putting up with this kind of behaviour because it is not gender-specific. But, men do like to crudely joke back and forth, and they respect people who accept that. Of course, there is a thin line between banter and harassment or bullying, and only you can decide when you feel it gets crossed.

Play to your strengths

They are lots of generalisations which fly around workplaces, but you have to decide whether they are positive or negative. Take the fact that men think women are better listeners than men. If your boss, a male, asks you for insight into the condition of the group, should you decline? Of course you shouldn’t because it could be the start of a productive work relationship. Some women enrol on MA education online courses and others like to be a shoulder to cry on, and both are advantages. If you have a skill, don’t be afraid to use it to climb the corporate ladder.

Bond over a beer or with games

Men and women like to drink, yet the cliché suggests men like it more than women. If avoiding going home or not being productive with their night is a sign they like a drink, so be it because you have bigger fish to fry. However, never underestimate the pull of a conversation in a local watering hole with a colleague. Alcohol makes people open up and divulge info they wouldn’t normally. Also, it builds a bond because both people get to know one another on a personal level. With that in mind, don’t just decline an invite for a drink with the boys as you may miss a perfect bonding session. And you can also set up some informal team-building games that will appeal to the entire crew, such as laser tag, paintball, or starting a sports team in your department or business.

 

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