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!



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