Today’s comment challenge question:
Do you prefer to work with women or men?
Why am I asking this and what in the world does this have to do with communication? Glad you asked. I was doing some research on a post about tips on working with women and I came across several articles proudly proclaiming people prefer to work with and for men over women. Even women said they preferred to work with men over other women. But, why?
The most common reasons listed were:
- Men are less emotional than women.
- Men are more decisive than women.
- Men show less favoritism than women.
- Men are less vindictive than women.
- Men are more direct than women.
- Men have more power and authority than women.
One article cited a study that concluded while 77% of respondents said gender didn’t matter, of the 23% that expressed a preference, they preferred working with men. Another article offered research from the book Work with Me: Blind Spots In Men and Women In Business by Barbara Annis and John Gray to explain the fundamental difference between the tension. It said:
Women are not as content in today’s workplace as men are. From the boardroom to the conference room to the call center, women feel … dismissed for their ideas and excluded from events and opportunities for advancement. Women often sense they have to work harder than men do just to prove themselves, and they feel doubted for their competence and commitment.
Men, on the other hand, are generally comfortable with the rules of engagement in today’s corporate culture. They’re not aware of how their behavior affects women, nor do they feel they’re acting intentionally against women. They just assume women are prepared to engage in work as men typically do – whether the work involves prioritizing issues, solving problems, participating on teams, leading others, or making decisions.
In short, the reason men and women have tension is the current culture supports male authority and men don’t notice how it’s biased in their favor. Those women who point out biases are categorized as troublemakers or whiners. Do you agree?
As I consumed the information about why those bold enough to say they prefer men do so, I noticed it all boiled to down to communication preferences. We like to work with people who communicate the same way we do. It’s just easier. There is less room for misinterpretation. There is a shared understanding. No matter your communication style, you prefer to work with people who express themselves and conduct themselves the way you do. Gender has nothing to do with it.
Do you prefer to work with women or men? Why? Please leave your comment below.