Gender Differences in the Workplace

  • Jessica M. Moss

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 986

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Gender Differences in the Workplace

  • Kelsey Thornton

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2157

    On the whole I liked the article and agree with it.

    One thing I might beg to differ on is the following statement:

    Managers can help this by not [...] asking the female in the room to take notes, which would devalue her role in the discussion.

    Whoever is taking the notes (be it male or female) might feel less "involved" in the discussion as it is happening, but often the note-taker will be asked to write a report or minutes of the meeting. If they are clever, and they feel so inclined, they can bend the report towards their own viewpoint without changing any material facts. This report will often be the most obvious lasting outcome of the meeting.

    Kelsey Thornton
    MBCS CITP

  • kdv

    Old Hand

    Points: 368

    While no one is disputing the importance of the minutes of the meeting, I think the point that Jessica was making is that the facilitator should not assume that the woman in the meeting should take on the note-taking role.

    Thanks for a well thought out commentary on women in technology roles. After being in the industry for many years, I'm still amazed at the small percentage of women in the field. Attending Microsoft's Tech Ed a few years ago was eye opening because only about 10% of the attendees were women.

    However women need to take on some of the responsibility for growth in this area also. I've attended sessions on Women in Technology where the primary focus is Work/Life balance and family issues. I completely understand that these are critical areas and will continue to be as long as women still maintain the primary responsibilities for home and raising children as evidenced by many recent studies. However in these types of forums, wouldn't our time be better spent by trying to enhance careers, tackling some of the perception issues addressed in this forum, finding ways to encourage young women to enter this field? If we continue to focus on the family issues in professional forums, we only confirm the perception that women are not as interested in careers as men.

  • Kelsey Thornton

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2157

    kdv (10/7/2010)


    While no one is disputing the importance of the minutes of the meeting, I think the point that Jessica was making is that the facilitator should not assume that the woman in the meeting should take on the note-taking role.

    I wholeheartedly agree here. No-one should assume anything. I was not suggesting that the writer was incorrect in what she said, only in the implication that the note-taker was involved to a lesser extent than the others in the meeting.

    Kelsey Thornton
    MBCS CITP

  • Tobar

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4767

    Nice Article.

    The only thing I would add is that I would say we should not even rely on "Lasting impresions". We should always be listening and reacting in the "present" not filtering with the "past". It is something we all do but need to strive not to do. How many of us have worked for employer's whose lasting impression is that you do not know something and even when you have learned it and demonstrated proficiency they still do not recognize you as a contributor? You either give up and get back into "your place", possibly confirming your own lasting impression of yourself, or you find a new employer were you can "start fresh".

    <><
    Livin' down on the cube farm. Left, left, then a right.

  • TravisDBA

    SSCoach

    Points: 15780

    I disagree Jessica, the world just doesn't work that way. Ideally, it should, but it just doesn't, and as long as human nature is in the equation in the workplace, it never will. As Tobar stated people have their own perceptions that aren't always in line with reality, and that tends to color their viewpoints, and that isn't something you can legislate at the workplace. 😀

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • Carol Wickenheiser

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 235

    Thank you, Jessica, for your well thought out editorial. I am fortunate that in my workplace and work community I am treated very fairly. Women have many leadership positions in our local and regional GIS (Geographic Information Systems) organizations. GIS was in the past a male dominated career but in the past 11 years that I have been involved in it more and more women are joining the ranks, and as a compliment to my male colleagues we are equally respected. Hopefully this trend will continue and will branch out into other technology fields.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720484

    Thanks, Jessica, for a well written editorial.

  • sjimmo

    SSChampion

    Points: 11139

    Thanks Jessica, very good article.

    I remember that when I was interviewed for a position at a very large company, the one question that stands out in my mind was "Do you have a problem working for a woman?" My response was absolutely not. I had just retired from the military and my last commander had been a woman. I did question why we had such a question in that day and age (20 years ago) and was told I would find out. Well, at the first senior management meeting, I found that out of 23 senior managers of that division, only 2 were male. We were proud to be the tokens, and found ALL to be professional, knowledgeable and it was a great group to be with.

    Steve Jimmo
    Sr DBA
    “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

  • Dizzy Desi

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1031

    TravisDBA (10/7/2010)


    I disagree Jessica, the world just doesn't work that way. Ideally, it should, but it just doesn't, and as long as human nature is in the equation in the workplace, it never will. As Tobar stated people have their own perceptions that aren't always in line with reality, and that tends to color their viewpoints, and that isn't something you can legislate at the workplace. 😀

    Jessica's editorial was very well thought out and well written. I think she would agree with you that the world doesn't work that way. However, where you seem to be saying that human nature can't evolve, Jessica's take was that it can evolve and improve if we strive to act professionally.

    Our professional and respectful behavior should be focused upon everyone we encounter, whether in the workplace or not.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720484

    Dizzy Desi (10/7/2010)


    TravisDBA (10/7/2010)


    I disagree Jessica, the world just doesn't work that way. Ideally, it should, but it just doesn't, and as long as human nature is in the equation in the workplace, it never will. As Tobar stated people have their own perceptions that aren't always in line with reality, and that tends to color their viewpoints, and that isn't something you can legislate at the workplace. 😀

    Jessica's editorial was very well thought out and well written. I think she would agree with you that the world doesn't work that way. However, where you seem to be saying that human nature can't evolve, Jessica's take was that it can evolve and improve if we strive to act professionally.

    Our professional and respectful behavior should be focused upon everyone we encounter, whether in the workplace or not.

    Absolutely we can evolve. And we do so by learning more, talking about it, and understanding that those prejudices are just that: prejudices. They don't necessarily apply.

    The world of today is miles beyond where it was in 1910, and we have gotten better about being more professional to others. We can go further, and I hope I live to see more professional equality.

  • amenjonathan

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2482

    Let's put the shoe on the other foot for a second (play some devil's advocet). Recently I attended my son's open house (or back to school, whichever comes first). Every one of the 25 or so staffers and teachers introduced to us was female. Not a single male teacher or administrative staffer. ?

    Does it really matter that they're all women? Should we get peeved that there are no males on that staff?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My SQL Server Blog

  • j_e_o

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 959

    Sometimes I think that I was dropped off on this planet by an alien spacecraft.

    Never have I judged a person in the work place on their gender, race, religion or physical characteristics. What I judge them on is how well they participate in the overall project effort and their bottom line contribution.

    My basic premise is that I have to work with Jane, Ming, Mohammed and everyone else on the team on a daily basis. My behavior can either improve the work environment or degrade it. If I degrade it, my job gets harder. If I improve it by treating everyone fairly, my job gets easier. Heck, even if someone has some objectionable quality, I just decide that it is something I can ignore or I find ways to work around it. There are exceptions however: bullying, sexual harassment and persistent pessimism. These qualities will have me speaking with my manager or HR in short order.

    My first engineering job saw me paired up with a female engineer. She was a socially challenged person who had many quirks (a real nerd's nerd). But it didn't matter. I strove to establish an honest, friendly and supportive work relationship with her and whenever she did something awkward, I just blew it off because it didn't really matter. She was intelligent and got the job done and we worked very well together (probably because I wasn't an intimidating ***).

    Bottom line is we have to give our coworkers a break and judge them based on their efforts and work product, not their fashion sense, marital status or whether they like to talk about their favorite sport team at every opportunity.

    By the way, I'm one of those gym "meatheads"...:-D

  • LadyRuna

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2189

    amenjonathan (10/7/2010)


    Let's put the shoe on the other foot for a second (play some devil's advocet). Recently I attended my son's open house (or back to school, whichever comes first). Every one of the 25 or so staffers and teachers introduced to us was female. Not a single male teacher or administrative staffer. ?

    Does it really matter that they're all women? Should we get peeved that there are no males on that staff?

    That's one thing I've noticed: almost all teachers in grades K-6 were female, then for junior high and high school, there were more male teachers. I think that it would be good to have a closer to 50-50 mix in schools because boys need good role models as much as girls do. Also, with the increasing number of single-parent households, many boys are growing up never having any kind of male role model.

  • TravisDBA

    SSCoach

    Points: 15780

    The world of today is miles beyond where it was in 1910

    Sometimes, when I stop and look at the state of everything today, I'm not always so sure that is a good thing..... 😀

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply