Vincy Workplace
September 3, 2010
No longer man’s world

When women began entering the workforce at professional levels, the old cliché “It’s a man’s world” was a reality that made working and communicating outside the home difficult. However, as we progress in the 21st century, it’s important for both sexes to develop strategies to breakdown the stereotypes that cause this communication rift.{{more}}

The communication gap is fueled by stereotypes that in many cases have become accepted as societal norms. Both men and women have a difficult time understanding how they can perpetuate the problem with their behaviour, even when they say they are striving to help bridge the gap between the sexes.

A Common Stereotype:

Women are often seen as nurturers in the workplace and instead of professional equals to their male counterparts. As a result, it’s not uncommon for men to ask women to be the one who “takes care of the office” i.e. provide refreshments, clean up and other duties associated with support staff. Whenever this occurs, it’s imperative that the female employee speaks up and commands the respect of her male colleagues. She needs to remind them that her role as a professional is to help the organization advance by using her expertise as a leader and problem solver.

Unfortunately, women often play into the stereotypes when they refuse to speak up for themselves for fear of being unpopular, alienated or labeled in the organization. The decision to remain silent never works for any woman who is serious about advancing her career.

Female employees must know the value they bring to the company and understand that they are now part of a team. It can no longer be a man’s world for companies who plan to stay in business. Here are a few tips for both sexes:

Tips for Women:

1. Don’t be afraid to assert yourself. Voice your opinions and offer solutions to problems. Choose your words for maximum effect and avoid over explaining or over apologizing.

2. Promote your skills and abilities. If equality is the goal, women must begin to feel comfortable speaking openly about their accomplishments. Don’t allow others to steal your ideas and make sure you get credit for work done.

3. Control your emotions. If there is a problem, think strategically, resolve the issue quickly, and avoid gossiping with coworkers. After heated disagreements, always try to move on without harboring any ill feelings.

Tips for Men:

1.Try to be open-minded. Regardless of your personal feelings towards women and their place in society, the workplace is an environment where women and men strive to be equals. Get used to it.

2. Stop and listen. Men have been accused of not listening when women speak up in the workplace. Resist the urge to speak above, ignore female employees or take credit for her ideas.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to
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