I had thought that the whole having to pretend to be a man to get ahead in a male world thing was old hat, gone, over.
Trouble is that looking around at the generation of women ahead of me, the women that I should be looking at as role models, it seems that the best way to get ahead is, quite frankly, to be a bit of a bitch.
Power dressing is a definite must, as is throwing your weight around when it’s really not needed and generally making sure that every knows that you are the boss.
It all seems rather tragic to me.
Tragic that it appears that the only way I am going to rise to the top is by acting mean. And I’m not sure I want to do that.
Part of the reason behind my move to a more diverse workplace was to get away from the rat race and the associated aggression and testosterone. Trouble is that it is looking like the only way women are still succeeding is by being more masculine than men.
Whatever happened to appreciating the different skills that women have? Whatever happened to accepting that you can get things done as effectively even if you have a different style? Whatever happened to this wave of feminism meaning that we could accept and embrace the differences between the sexes and the fact that both can bring strengths to play?
I’ve been criticised at work for not being aggressive enough in the past but I’ve still managed to get my point across and negotiate as hard as my male colleagues, I just do it differently. A bit quieter which means that people have to actually stop talking to hear what you are saying, a bit less aggressive which can seem weak but mostly disguises the fact that when I say I’m not changing my position I’m not. And I’ve had experience in negotiating with two strong willed toddlers, I am used to saying something and sticking by it in the face of fairly determined opposition!
So what do we think? Can we reach the top by being nice and feminine or are we still having to channel the bitch to get ahead?