BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Wo/Manly Communication

Posted by businesswom on December 10, 2008

boardroom4Women in the workplace. Men in the workplace. How do these gender dynamics affect how the work gets done?

Power and aggressiveness or equality and emotions?

Short meetings and board room debates or office visits and hallway pow wows?

A slammed door here and there, forgotten tomorrow or feel the wrath of past transgressions in a reply all e-mail weeks later?

Listed line items that need to be changed based on fact or suggested line items that need to be changed because the first way doesn’t feel right?

Some of these may be clichés, but clichés are such because they are true…Well, most of them [disclaimer for the above statements]. Besides, I never really say which characteristics are manly and womanly.

Having been part of a 10% female staff and then transitioning to a workplace that is virtually 100% female, I certainly noticed a huge difference in how the work gets done. Granted, these are two extremes. Neither way is better than the other, just different. Right?

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2 Responses to “Wo/Manly Communication”

  1. all women offices/majority women offices sometimes get a bad wrap for being catty or fake or bitchy, but you know what – i would rather work in an all female office any day. there are still obstacles, of course, but there’s a certain basic understanding and humility when working with people of the same sex that i truly enjoy.

  2. just lookin' said

    but doesn’t that depend on your communication style? just because you are female doesn’t mean you posses a female communications style and vice versa. Hilary Clinton? I would say her style is more masculine, and she has been vilified for it by men and women alike. read Deborah Tannen’s work , we may not agree with everything she says but she does show us how society shapes our communications styles (not just with regard to gender either.) today we work more hours than ever in more diverse work places, and while i think we are better not just at recognizing differences but also the strengths that come from that diversity, there is still work to be done.

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