(I know this might ruffle a few male feathers, but I’m going there anyway!)
Yesterday my girlfriend — and now colleague! — and I were chatting in my office. We started talking about how men approach work in a much different way than women.
An example: whenever I’ve gone to a work meeting — when I worked in the newsroom, at a nonprofit, in college — the women were always there first, if not a few minutes early. They were almost always prepared, with color-coded labeled folders, a fresh yellow pad, several pens. The men, well, they came as is. Maybe with a pen. And not usually on time.
I realize I’m generalizing here. Yes, there are men who are OCD-like prepared for meetings, who tote around murses filled with steno notebooks and multicolored ballpoint pens. But I find those guys very rare. Like seeing an endangered animal in the wild.
Not to say men don’t work hard. They do. It just seems women approach differently than men.
I used to wish I were a guy — or at least had a guy’s approach to the job. They seem to not fret over the little things, not take comments and remarks so personal, not go home and stress out about everything that happened at the office. They do their job, they don’t take on more than they should, and they don’t get stuck planning the office baby showers or Christmas parties. And they don’t have to play the exhausting (but rewarding) role of Mommy when they get home.
Do women feel a need to step up, to prove themselves in a male-dominated workplace? Are there different pressures for women and men? Are women harder on each other? Are the standards different? Is there really an inherent gender difference? (Read “Why Most Women Will Never Become CEO” in Forbes.)
I don’t know. But I’d like to go to my next meeting with just a mechanical pencil and not feel like I should have baked for the occasion.