Throughout my career, I have worked in many different environments – large political campaigns, a small non-profit with one other employee, a busy lobbying firm, and two state agencies. Through those experiences, I have noticed the following characteristics or tendencies about Women vs. Men in the workplace:
- Women will gather around a table sipping a “spot of tea” in nice ceramic mugs with flowers or inspirational sayings on them to brainstorm.
- Men consume instant coffee in paper cups during every pow-wow.
- The women I know appreciate a nice lunch in Hartford at Firebox or Trumbull Kitchen, you know, places that have fabric napkins.
- A man’s idea of going out to lunch in Hartford is the food trucks in Bushnell Park.
- Women will gossip about fashion, hair, and celebrity news.
- Men gossip about….well, they don’t always gossip.
- When the topic of breastfeeding arises, women will become very opinionated, passionate, and talk about their own experiences.
- Talking about breastfeeding with men can generate silence, red faces, and the lowering of their eyes to the ground.
- Women will hug you and cheer “Yay!” with delight on your successes.
- Men will say “good job” and possibly offer a handshake.
As I examine my own “work style,” I realize that each side might have rubbed off on me, causing a “morph” of the two. If need be, I can chug coffee with the best of them (as long as it’s decaf) and still appreciate a fine sip of chamomile tea. I am not a big hugger, but I have been known to drop the “Yay!” bomb quite frequently during serious meetings. And yes I really, really like the food trucks at Bushnell Park (Yay! for Thai Food On Wheels).
I would be happy and intrigued to hear YOUR observations about Women vs. Men in the workplace. Perhaps there are exceptions? Do you have a male workmate you enjoy gossiping about Brangelina with? Is there a woman you know who belches aloud after consuming too much diet soda? Let’s hear it!
Finally, I would like to offer what I have learned from my favorite employers and co-workers – male and female alike:
- Never take “no” for an answer.
- When negotiating, first ask for the everything, even if you think you may not get it.
- Don’t be afraid to change things for the better, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges.
- Taking time to say thank you to an employee or co-worker can really improve performance.
- Persistence always pays.
- Family and personal well-being come first!