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Women In The Workplace

It's extremely obvious that women have come a long way as successful professionals. Life in the workplace has become much more diversified as an increased number of women have made their presence felt in many industries and professions. The female task force has expanded with exponential strength, and thus has its dire importance in the professional world.

SUCCESS&FLIRT

Whether they like it or not, men have to accept, once and for all, that women are marching up the corporate ladder confidently and with full speed ahead.

Women used to be much more "quiet and passive" in the workplace due to the relatively small number of female employees in comparison to males. Women today, on the other hand, have begun assuming their positions by using all their God given powers of intelligence and organization.

Warren Farrell, author of Why Men Are the Way They Are , explains that men are jealous of the "beauty power" that allows women to get certain things based on their physical assets, so to speak. Perhaps it's less that women use their beauty, and more likely that men judge them based on their physical beauty... food for thought, Mr. Farell.

Logically speaking, though, even if a minute amount of women batted their eyelashes, wore nice perfume and subjective outfits to get to the top, wouldn't they still need to be clever enough to hold those high positions?

It is a common misconception that many professional females got into positions of power by utilizing their flirting skills, and their sexuality to their advantage. Now although some women in certain circumstances have used "their assets" to get what they want, the majority of women have worked hard and stared adversity straight in the face to achieve their desired success.

In retrospect, women were put on the backburner in the workplace for many years and it was believed that the only jobs that they could handle were those of teachers or secretaries, but lo and behold, today's woman can not only hold her own in the workplace, but she also has the dual task of raising a family.

SPLIT PERSONALITY

As a type of defense mechanism, women have developed dual personas; one for the home and one for the workplace. Assuming a flirtatious and bubbly character at work results in wider acceptance among male workers. This characteristic is independent of age and fairly present in today's male-oriented world.

Comparing this to the more "normal" personality -- at home for example -- where women may be more reserved, this tactic gives them a much needed advantage to ensure acceptance among men.

Looking at it realistically, who is at an advantage: men or women? The main reason why some women may resort to this technique is because men don't give them the proper respect in the first place. If men treated them as equal associates, then you would not be reading about this topic in this column. The unfortunate truth is that discrimination at the workplace exists, even if the situation has improved and progress is being made.

GETTING THERE

If you are still unsure about this view on women, remember that they may use their femininity simply to have an opportunity to prove themselves and show off their professional skills in the long run. Making eye contact and wearing revealing attire is simply a means to an end for some females.

These feminine ways allows them to gain experience in the work field and establish good track records, by showing they can successfully finish projects within specified time frames and allocated budgets. This is the reason they are moving up the corporate ranks -- by showing that they are fully as capable as men -- not because they are able to make the morning coffee and take care of the photocopies.

Women now have more opportunities and they are able to seize them. A recent Wall Street Journal /NBC special survey showed that about 80% of Americans say that women have made considerable progress in the workplace, where the majority say this social movement has had a "largely positive impact" on the country.

Looking at numbers, we can clearly see that the female component of the working community is quickly increasing. Almost 40% of business school graduates are women, which is in accordance that 38% of all businesses in America are owned and operated by women. This number is likely to keep growing as 30% of Harvard's business school graduates are women.

Approximately 25% of doctors and lawyers are female while many more are on the way, with 43% of all medical students being female and women making up half of the law school student body.

This survey also shows that although half of the American population thinks that women are treated fairly in the workplace, the female community simply does not agree, as executive positions are still difficult to strive for.

Now that we see that men and women are not treated equally in the workplace, here is a checklist of how women generally act at work compared to men.

WOMEN

  • Accept criticism and rectify behavior.
  • Are not shy about asking for advice or guidance.
  • Are able to admit they are wrong.
  • Wait for their turn to talk during meetings.
  • Are well prepared and do sufficient research.
  • Are perfectionists and pay attention to details.
  • Do their homework and are informed on what's going on at work.

Men

  • Keep doing things the same way, even after being told it's wrong.
  • Prefer taking a guess rather than asking for help.
  • Deny fault, rather than taking the blame.
  • Interrupt other people to voice their opinion.
  • Often times scramble to put things together just to have something ready on time.
  • Don't touch up their work or look over the little things.
  • Don't have a problem making stuff up and improvising rather than looking clueless.

It is important to remember that this non-exhaustive checklist is not in reference to quantifying men and women's abilities in the workplace. This is simply in order to shed some light on the different behaviors between the two sexes at work.

In no way should this list be taken as a foolproof reference to people's attitudes at work. The point of this article is not to favor one gender over the other, but rather to allow readers to see that there are distinctions between the two.

DISCRIMINATION & SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Although the majority of women say they haven't suffered from discrimination or sexual harassment, this does not mean it does not occur. More than 50% of women between the ages of 35 and 49 say they have been discriminated because of their gender, while 40% say they have been sexually harassed.

The difference lies in the fact that discrimination tends to take place among higher-income and better-educated professional women, whereas harassment is often experienced among blue-collar females.

While the underlying reason for the increase of women at work seems to be for financial purposes, many women are penetrating the workforce and climbing the corporate ladder purely because of ambition and for personal fulfillment.

THIS IS A MAN'S JOB

Even with all this progress, there will always be some jobs that will qualified as being a "man's" job. Although women prefer having a female doctor, a large amount actually prefer having a man as a religious adviser or a police officer.

Along with this stereotype towards women, more than 70% of Americans say that men receive better treatment when it comes to earning salaries. A large portion of the female population also agrees that women are discriminated against when it comes to salaries.

I'm hoping that this objective view towards women in the workplace has allowed men to understand that although men's views towards women at work has improved over the years, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

So if your receptionist is a woman, cut her some slack because she may be your boss one day.

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