• 02.22.08

Women downplaying femininity in the workplace

Today’s blogpost is inspired by Today’s Big Idea.

Today’s blogpost is inspired by Today’s Big Idea. “Women shouldn’t downplay femininity in the office; they should use it as an asset.” This quote was taken from “What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should): Timeless Secrets to Get Everything You Want in Life, Love and Work.” 


That quote really struck me as something that even I end up doing sometimes. I can remember being an editor for the college newspaper, the only female on the editorial board, and trying to talk the way the guys were talking or act the way that the guys were acting. For me at least, it was only after I stopped pretending that I was a 21-year-old man that I became a better person, editor and general staff member of the newspaper because I could think more clearly and was not entirely devoting my life to trying to be one of the boys.


What’s worse sometimes than trying to be one of the boys though is simply trying to hurt one of the girls. As Gail Evans, former CNN executive vice president and author of “Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman”, noted, for some reason women seems to only compete with other women in the workplace rather than realizing that if you are going to be competitive, you might want to compete with everyone else.


Evans suggestion: “If we care about each other, we need to tell each other what we need to know. And rather than assuming someone will hate us because we told them the truth, start assuming that people will care that they’re a success… We need to find the space to say that these are how these guys act and know how the boss works. Instead of watching her make the mistake 20 times and say, well I couldn’t tell her because it might upset her, we have to reach the point where we push them and care about their success.”


What do you think, do women tend to compete with each other more than with men? Is that a good idea? What do you think of this workplace culture?