An Op-Ed:

Earlier today, I read a column that intrigued me about the difference in the way men and women approach business.  Women feel as if they are in a male boss’ blind spots, excluded from success by the “glass ceiling”.  

The Glass Ceiling Still Exists

I have certainly seen my share of blind spots in my career and felt shut out and shut down. When I stopped working in a corporate mentality, where a glass ceiling certainly applied and started working in an entrepreneurial manner, that lessened; mostly because multiple men weren’t part of my decision-making process, nor were they my bosses.

The exception is my husband, who is very supportive and who has learned that the best way to get his point across to me is to listen closely, clarify and then talk it through — whether it is toward my idea or to develop one of his own for our project.  We have our differences, of course, but many times the differences lead to improved ways to get things done.  It’s all in how we approach those differences; are we going to do it respectfully or not?  Are we ethical in our dealings or not?

Do Women Help Other Women?

When we – women – work within the confines of a corporate world, the glass ceiling (you know, the one that’s not really there?) is always there and ever-present, no matter how subtle or how denied it is.  And, it is unfortunate, but many women continue to propagate that blasted ceiling, even when (or perhaps, especially because…) they have already “made it”.

That said, there are tools in place for men and women to work together so they have no fear of each other, so they are productive and collaborative and so their best competition is toward that team building attitude that is so preferred. It always starts with respect and trust.  Appropriately deal with gossip immediately, instead of allowing it to continue to blow things out of proportion.  Impropriety works within both genders, so it is important to  commit to not acting inappropriately at work.  Bullying must not be tolerated.  Both sides of the gender coin play the blame game and rip each other apart because they are too busy competing: one-upping or on such a power trip that they can’t or won’t see the other side. 

I believe men are aware when they omit women from situations; they just may not know why, nor what to do with — the discomfort it brings them. Trust is a very difficult see-saw to balance in business, just as in one’s personal life.  It is important to take the time to earn trust and respect before proceeding in most projects.

The Simple Truth Is

Women need men to not objectify, belittle, abuse  or ignore them. Ignoring men is a bad idea also.  Who wants to feel threatened by a woman’s expertise or bitched at? We can learn to work with our personal skills, but we have to learn what each others’ skills are.  Put them in proper context, so as to lessen the tension and have it mistaken for something it’s not.

Once you develop ethics, respect and trust within a co-ed team, and work to eliminate snarky attitudes or inappropriate innuendo, things will begin to happen that the sexes never thought of before — namely mutual respect and increased productivity.  

#menvswomen #glassceiling #corporatementality #teambuilding #teamwork #teachrespect

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