How to Work with Women
OK, guys. Listen up!
A few years ago, I was on a work project where, during most days, I was the only man in the room.
I know! And guess what? I survived!
Not only that, the project was related to babies and pregnancy! I might as well have been tasked with unraveling the mysteries of quantum field theory…or figuring out how a breast pump actually works!
It just so happens we were working with African American mothers, which means I could not have been more out of my element (in case you couldn’t tell from my profile photo, I’m a white guy who isn’t pregnant).
I could go on and on, but I won’t waste any more of your time since you’re probably super busy executing some clutch M&A at work, or taking a client out to dinner for work, or…let’s be honest — you’re probably setting your fantasy lineup…while at work.
I’ll cut straight to the point.
Here’s how not to be a complete turd while working with women:
OK, so you know how it’s really freaking annoying when you’re trying to tell a story at happy hour and Chad/Derek/Payton hijacks the entire conversation only to share how he totally crushed his old PR at the gym? Now, imagine that happening every day, in every meeting, on every conference call. We’re talking Groundhog Day but with mansplaining. Yeah, sounds pretty miserable. However important you think your next sentence is, I guarantee it isn’t. Try taking a second or two to open up the conversation to everyone else in the (virtual) room.
Think about the words coming out of your mouth
When you do decide to say something, think about who’s in the room. Sure, asking everyone, “What do you guys think?” may seem harmless and inclusive, but remember — you aren’t always talking to “the guys.” Second-guessing age-old phrases like this doesn’t make you the “PC Police”— it makes you thoughtful. Tweaking these phrases is a quick way to start actually including everyone.