Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Women At Work: Like Men Only Cheaper

The discussion around gender pay parity blips up every 12 months or so and it seems to have done another loop.

I did my thesis on this kind of stuff so I'm a bit reluctant to to turn the 'on' button on here because I will bore both myself and you but if there's one message I have for chicks in the workforce it's this: learn to play the game.

Don't get me wrong. The fundamental issue is still one of biology and the reality is, women have babies and women are generally the primary care giver and women tend to want to have babies in their prime career establishment window (28-40 years).

But I do think that women need to learn to stop being so petty and channel their competitive energy for horizons broader than tearing the crap out of the women that sits at the cubicle next to them. I would love to republish here an email I was shown last week from two women having a catfight in a department. It was appallingly catty and walked dangerously close to ballooning into a major HR bullying issue. Very silly and I hate to say it but there's no way a man could have conceived of yet alone written the emails. 

Women (myself included) struggle to distinguish between public and personal and tend to get over-involved and not maintain a professional distance while still networking and building strategic alliances and partnerships that benefit their development.

I'm part of a networking group of women in senior communication roles that has formed organically. We have all worked together at some point and actively support each other to aid our careers. It's taken us along time to figure out and feel comfortable with doing this and some people have dropped out. It seems having someone round to your house for lunch and then mixing up contract talks with a review of the new curtains is a bit close and icky for some.

Trust becomes a problem. Is this person being nice to me because they like me or because they want something from me? Training yourself to not overthink it means that you won't fall prey to your insecurities. Do the two have to be mutually exclusive? Isn't it true that people choose to do business with people they like?

In my opinion, men naturally move between private and public better; hence 'the old boy's club' and the Wednesday golf outings.

A bit simplistic I know and there are plenty of other factors (discrimination, lack of flexible arrangements, organisational structure) but it's something to think about and you can see the results in senior role statistics. Put the claws in and dial up the long lunches. 

Posted via email from cjlambert's posterous

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