Tag Archives: women

Have Some Respect For The Young Women

23 Aug

We all know that there are some professions out there that are completely male dominated, right? Like banking or working on Wall Street or being an attorney. Yes, there are wonderful women working in those professions, but if you work in one of those professions you often find yourself surrounded by men, and older men at that. Not only is it hard to speak to older men who are of the Good Old Boy Club, but it is hard to feel welcome.

The other day one of my Facebook friends (who shall remain anonymous) posted this:

“Dear Male Attys in their 50s: No, I am not the paralegal. Yes I am under 30 and female. Please do not call me sweetheart and do not say ‘just between the girls.’ As a warning, I do not respond well to bullying or manipulation. And, by the way, I’m not a -itch  if I object or question something you do that I believe  is inappropriate under the rules of civil procedure. I’m just doing my job. Thank you. Truly Yours, Esq.”

At first I read this and thought, wow, she must have had a bad day, but then the more I thought about it the more I thought, Good for you!! I have to give it to her – she spoke her mind and said what a lot of young women were thinking – that they arn’t respected just because they are young women in their profession.

How many of you out there have been in a situation in which someone assumes, just because you are young, that you are a secretary or an assistant or the lowly intern? How many of you have found that just because you are young your opinions are not respected? How many of you think that just because you are young your older colleagues try to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do? How many of you have been in a meeting and suggested something only to have the older men laugh and push it aside?

This has happened to me quite a few times in my short career, and I have to admit that when it does happen it is sort of embarrassing. It makes me feel like maybe I am not worthy of being in the profession I am in or that I am not worthy of having other people respect my work. And having to explain to people that you aren’t the intern and are actual an attorney or a broker or a counselor or a doctor is awkward. And then they look at you with a scrunched forehead and their head tilted to the side as if they can’t possible comprehend how you could possibly be in the position thar you’re in.

And when this happens all you want to do is scream at the top of your lungs, “Yes, I am a young woman, but I am a _________, so respect me!”

I know that everyone has to pay their dues and has to put in the time before respect is given, I get that, but people can’t just assume that because you have a young face or because you’re attractive or because you are female that you are the secretary. I think that sometimes, just sometimes, people should respect you and remember that they were once in your position.

Any of you have similar experiences in your professions?

Why Women Can’t Have It All According To Anne-Marie Slaughter

22 Jun

Generation Y women have grown up hearing that we can have it all if we really want it. We can have the high-powered career, the money, the man, and the children without having to sacrifice one for the other. But is this really true?

In a controversial op-ed in the Atlantic, Anne-Marie Slaughter penned an article entitled Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. The article recounts Slaughter’s experiences in Washington working a high-powered government job and her struggles to be the mother and professional that she wanted to be.

In the article Slaughter states “In short, the minute I found myself in a job that is typical for the vast majority of working women (and men), working long hours on someone else’s schedule, I could no longer be both the parent and the professional I wanted to be—at least not with a child experiencing a rocky adolescence. I realized what should have perhaps been obvious: having it all, at least for me, depended almost entirely on what type of job I had. The flip side is the harder truth: having it all was not possible in many types of jobs, including high government office—at least not for very long.”

Of course Slaughter’s situation is not every woman’s situation. Not every woman dreams of working 80+ hours a week in Washington, or anywhere for that matter, and being away from their family for weeks at a time. Not every woman believes that having a high-powered career is just as important as her family.

While I do think that Slaughter’s points are interesting and well thought out, I do think that her concerns about women not being able to have it all do not apply to everyone. Take Lindsey Cross who wrote an article entitled Dear Anne-Marie Slaughter, I Have It All. In her article Cross is upset by Slaughter’s statement that women can’t have it all because she says that she has the job she wants – being a freelance writer and getting paid for it – and also gets to spend time with her family and daughter. Cross writes, “I guess the reason that this debate makes me frustrated is because it lets an admittedly small number of women speak for all of us. I’m sorry that Anne-Marie Slaughter had a hard time prioritizing what she wanted with the needs of her family. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have it all. She doesn’t get to decide that for me.”

The work-life balance debate is one that is always swirling around the internet discussing how a woman who is a mother, wife, and employee can have it all. What I think it all comes down to is a choice. Just like men, women have to decide what is important to them. Sure, some men are able to work longer hours because they know that their wife will take care of everything at the house, but he is able to do so because that wife made a choice. There are plenty of men out there who have also made the choice to allow their wife to work the longer hours – Slaughter’s husband did it for her. When you have a family the decision of who is going to focus more on work and who is going to take care of the daily tasks around the house is a family decision and one in which the woman has a voice in. If a woman wants a high-powered career that will take her away from her children and daily life then she has to decide whether this career is the best thing for her family.

In essence, I think a woman that wants it all – great carrer, happy marriage, fulfilling relationships with their children – needs to speak up in their marriage and tell their husband how they feel and what they want. If a woman doesn’t speak up how can the husband know that she wants a different job?

What do you think? Do you think Slaughter’s or Cross is right? Do you find it hard to find a balance in your career and home life?

Why I Am Happy I Am Not Managed By A Woman

27 Mar

These past few weeks I have found myself buried beneath the back-breaking and agonizing problem we call “drama.” We have all experienced it, but when it happens to us and we find ourselves in the middle of a never-ending black hole, we wonder how on earth we got here and what we can do to get out of it. To put it simply, my husband and I had a falling out with some “friends.” Since the falling out, our lives have been a big pile of drama. And trust me, “drama” is putting it lightly.  Ok, ok, you are probably wondering what my point is, right?

Well, these past few weeks have taught me many things, most of which I won’t express here. One of the most eye-opening things I have realized is that women are so much more prone to cattiness, vindictiveness, and rumor spreading. Women tend to take things to a whole other level than men and they tend to become more emotionally invested in their problems. Yes, I have known this my entire life, but these past few weeks really solidified it for me.

While the drama has been exhausting and debilitating at times, I come to one conclusion: I am happy that I am not managed by a woman! According to a survey conducted by my favorite, Emily Bennington, the top three reasons women prefer male bosses are as follows:

(1) Men Tend to be More Direct. According to women, men are easier to read and set clearer expectations than women bosses. I know that I, myself, am hard to read, so I can see how this could be true. Men tend to be more black and white, often saying what they actually mean. Women, on the other hand, tend to use fluff or hidden messages when trying to communicate with others. As most of us know, a woman and a man could say the exact same thing, but both will have a different meaning or interpretation for the words they have used. Because of this, I can see how having a woman boss would be very difficult at times, especially if you were upset with one another.

(2) Women Are Too Competitive. As we all know, women are constantly observing other women and (sometimes) judging the other women or comparing themselves to other women. As Emily says, “There is only misery behind the door of comparison.” Women either think they are not good enough, which makes them insecure and hateful of women they perceive to have it all, or they think they are better, which makes them egotistical and stuck up. Working for a female may make it harder for you to move up the career ladder or stand out to others. Of course this depends upon whether the woman you are working for is confident or is comparing herself to you. Either way, I feel that I can make the statement that men are much less competitive (at least noticeably) with one another than women are.

(3) Women Are Too Emotional. According to Emily’s study, one response stated that “Women seem to bring emotions to the table no matter what . . . . ” Let’s take the drama situation I was talking about above. It is clear from what I have seen over the past few weeks that men and women react completely differently to the same situation. While men may be upset, they don’t tend to be as emotionally consumed as women. While I hate the stereotype that women are more emotional than men, I tend to agree with it and am thankful that I have a male boss.

So, what do you think? Do you think working for a man is easier than working for a woman? Do you agree with Emily’s statistics?

Do Successful Women Have a Harder Time Staying Married?

15 Mar

We have all heard of the Oscar curse, right? It is the curse that women who have won an Academy Award for Best Actress get divorced soon after winning the award. While this curse may sound silly, the evidence is hard to refute. Just look at the recent Oscar winners for Best Actress and how their relationships have broken down post-win – Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry and Hillary Swank. Apparently last year researchers found that of the 265 married women who have been nominated for Best Actress, 60% had gotten divorced. And get this, the winners were far more likely to divorce than the losers.  Why is this?

Sadly, the theory behind the Oscar curse is that the woman’s sudden success hurts her marriage. Ouch. This got me thinking, does a woman’s success in an ordinary job (not a Hollywood job) affect her marriage? Thinking about this reminded me of the Sex and the City episode where Miranda goes speed dating. Remember how she tells the first three men she meets that she is a corporate lawyer? Do you remember how they were not interested in her at all? Then Miranda tells guys number four that she is a stewardess. Suddenly the guy is interested and asks her out on a date.  Interesting, right? Does this mean that guys are somehow scared of women in high-power jobs?

Here is what I think. We all know that women are breaking into the workforce and are even becoming more educated than men (meaning that more women than men go to college). Because of this, women are taking more challenging jobs that lead to higher paychecks. This then results, in some circumstances, in relationships in which the woman out earns the man. Some men have a hard time dealing with this.

While I think it is natural for a man to want to provide for his family more so than the wife, I don’t think that is the reality any more. So, in those marriages where a woman’s success results in divorce, I believe it is the man’s lack of confidence, not the woman’s success, the tears the marriage apart. Some men are too stuck in gender roles and the idea that they need to appear to be the bread-winner. For those men who are dating successful women, the marriage may just be a rocky one.

What do you think? Are you in a relationship where you out earn your man? Do you think women that are more successful than their man have a hard time staying in relationships? Do you think men should care less about the amount of money their woman makes and worry about the relationship itself?