The Benefits and Challenges of Working for the Opposite Sex

The Benefits and Challenges of Working for the Opposite Sex

There is an old saying that behind every great man there is a great woman. This demonstrates the value of feminine energy in creating success, even if it isn’t always valued to the same degree as the more masculine energy that is typified by the stereotypical “businessMAN”.

Beyond Gender

It is important to note, however, that masculine and feminine energy are present in all of us and don’t equate with gender. They also have little to do with sexual orientation. They are more to do with styles of communication and leadership.

Some people would argue that since opposites attract, it will always be easier for a man and woman to work together. In the Western world, we seem to still think it normal for the man to be the boss and the woman to be the support staff. The disadvantage of this is that it can be tough to switch the roles, with, for example, the woman as the CEO with a male personal assistant.

Communication Is Key

The crucial difference, and one which may explain male dominance and the disadvantage of working for the opposite sex, is different communication styles. Men want to speak but are not always good at listening. Women have a reputation for being “chatty”, but that chat is usually about people because women tend to be more nurturing and concerned for others.

Women also tend to have a better emotional quotient; that is, a better grasp of the feelings of others and level of empathy that few businessmen will express. They can therefore “grease the wheels” and get their foot in the door on a lot of deals. The men can then close those deals.

Everyone Wins

Women are generally not determined to win at any price, but to create a win-win for all parties concerned so that the business relationships will continue happily over the long term. A male boss who values his female colleague’s feminine energy will pay attention to her input and value her contributes.

The Downside for Women of Working with Men

In an ideal world, we would all be enlightened and mature enough to treat each other with perfect professionalism and equality. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sexist remarks can do serious damage to business relationships.

Sexism in the workplace can create a “glass ceiling” that women seem to hit. Note how few women CEOs there are in the US. The fact that women earn about one-third less than men is also a telling point, even though in many cases it is the woman on the team who is working harder and producing more results.

Sexual harassment can work both ways, of course, but it tends to be a male colleague behaving inappropriately towards a woman, rather than the other way around. Bullying is another negative aspect to working for the opposite sex which needs to be addressed.

On the whole, women entrepreneurs are not given the same degree of respect as male entrepreneurs, but conducting yourself in a professional manner can ensure you are successful no matter which gender you are working with.

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The Benefits and Challenges of Working for the Same Sex

The Benefits and Challenges of Working for the Same Sex

As a woman entrepreneur, you might be delighted at the prospect of working with women rather than men, only to discover that is not all you imagined it was going to be. This is because the kind of energy that drives one person to be a leader and another person to be a colleague working under them tends to be a very masculine, driving sort of energy – one that even women possess.

Male versus Female Energy

Men and women possess both masculine and feminine energy. It changes in terms of balance depending on the situation. For example, in the planning stages of a new project, feminine energy might be at the forefront, as people allow a flow of ideas to go back and forth as to how best to tackle the assignment. However, that flow would be of less value as the deadline approached. Things need to be tightened up, buttoned down, and pushed through in order to meet the deadline.

Some women have more masculine energy, others more feminine. Some women “fake it ’til they make it”, thinking they have to be tougher than any man they work with. This can lead to bullying behavior. Some women are even harder on their female colleagues than the men, for a couple of reasons.

One reason is that they are trying to toughen them up; they didn’t have any breaks to get where they were, so why should any other woman. In other cases, it might be due to them having climbed the ladder and wanting to pull it up after themselves, discouraging any woman they work with from aspiring to become a leader too.

One final point which no one can really help is biology and hormones. Let’s face it. Women change at certain times of the month each month until they reach menopause, and even the most reasonable of bosses can become a nightmare at times. But then, so can we all. It’s important to try not to let personal issues get in the way of professional ones, no matter which side of the desk we are sitting on.

The Pros of Working with Women

The benefits of two women working together is that it tends to be much more team-oriented, with a free flowing of ideas. The best bosses are those who are willing to mentor others. They are happy to pass along their skills and don’t feel competitive if another woman joins the team.

Rather, they are supportive and welcoming. They share a common vision of a better company, a better world. They understand the challenges of being a woman in the business world and don’t try to make it harder for you than things have to be – due to a lack of awareness or unreasonable demands on your time when you are desperate to get home to the kids.

An empowered woman does not take her power by robbing it from others, but rather, by cultivating it in herself – often with the help of strong role models of both genders. And that empowerment can lead to success in any career.

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