The question of male and female often come up in the workplace. Do men
really get to the top faster? Where does protocol come from? Should the
woman pay the bill or does the man always pay? Who holds the car door when
you’re on a business trip?
When I got into business, very few women were in it, so there really wasn’t
too much of a choice. I never felt I was held back being a woman, and most
of my friends were men. I didn’t worry about doors or bills, because we just
did what was natural, and I think that’s the most important thing.
Whoever invites the other to the meal is usually the one who pays. If you agree
to “go dutch” that’s o.k. too, but men are not taken back by women who pay
and the woman is not embarrassed to do so. When you travel, both of you are
usually in such a hurry and dealing with so many hassles, that you just do
what you have to. If it has to do with carting something heavy, usually the
man should deal with it, but I have seen many a sales woman carting loads of
samples in a herculean manner.
To me, the most important thing a woman can do to make a great impression is
to have a terrific speaking voice. One that is clear, low pitched, resonant
and assertive. If you have confidence in your manner of speech, most everything
else follows. If you are unclear as to the proper thing to do, just watch
someone else who has done it before and model yourself after them.
A man should be respectful of a woman, but then so should everyone. When you
respect the person you’re dealing with, everything falls into place. Men get
to the top faster simply because they’ve been doing it longer. They also may
not have to deal with the issue of children in the same manner as a woman, but
if both parties (spouses or partners), can sort out these issues, then things
take care of themselves. And today, many man have chosen the role of the
“stay at home” parent.
I was always fortunate in that my husband loved being with the kids and although
he worked and also had a business of his own, he enjoyed the kid part of things
and was more than an equal partner. When people judge the other person on the
basis of gender, that’s not fair. Yes, women enjoy certain things more than
men and are usually thought to understand people’s feelings better, and men seem
to be more analytical and dispassionate, but both sexes can have each of those areas as their strong suit.
In this day and age, gender is no longer an issue. In the world of e-commerce
and so many people working from behind a computer, no one knows who you are. We also need dual incomes to survive and send our kids to college, so wake up, smell the roses, and appreciate each other for your strengths and weaknesses.