Girl Power! …right?

Problems asking for more pay, difficulty networking, obsession with perfectionism… are these really problems that women are somehow more likely to encounter in the workplace? Are they even gendered issues?

Take a read: Girl Power at School, But Not at the Office –New York Times

I’d be interested to learn more about who the author spoke with in drawing these conclusions. While there are certainly points I disagree with (such as the first line stating that the women’s rights movement only began in the 1960s), there are also some interesting thoughts to ponder.

Ladies: Do you feel that this article reflects your own experiences? Or is the author being more than a little presumptuous?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Girl Power! …right?

  1. Kala

    Hey Girl! I do believe the statements in the article were a little assumptive-that men already know how to network right out of college (do they?), that men are more welcoming to new male members, and with a man’s ease to ask for more pay. I do agree that it is easy to find oneself at an entry level job potentially becoming “assistant-ized” but I think accepting coffee runs and photocopying jobs has to to do with being eager, not finding tasks too demeaning, and having the sense that one has to start at the bottom before they can move up the company ladder. I really don’t see this as a gendered issue; “the new guy” at Chris’s job got saddled with a bunch of “crap work” before he was trusted enough/accepted to take on better work.

  2. saycheeseworld

    your nod to eagerness is a good point. it’s odd to me that the author (who wrote a book on this topic!) assumes that women are knocking themselves by doing such things instead of hoping that it’ll get them noticed. i can’t say that i know many business women who are on the hunt for demeaning work yo. a lack of available challenging projects does not necessarily equate to a lack of confidence or drive.

  3. Rachel

    As a girl (not yet a woman) who has held two post-undergrad positions, I somewhat agree with the characterization, but I must confess, both places at which I was and am employed were run by strong willed women. In the first office, I did feel at times I was given trivial tasks below me, but mostly by the female leadership. When there was a task that could’ve been done by another, male counterpart, I was still asked first, and the male counterpart wasn’t asked unless I refused. So, I feel women supervisors are as much to blame perhaps as men in the workplace.

    I do feel that what the author speaks about has more to do with age and inexperience than with gender. Because our generation of millenials is more focused on meritocracy than actual work (as in, I get the file, I get a cookie, right?) it’s easy perhaps to confuse this with sexual bias. I think some girls are just not able to reconcile with the notion that we won’t always be praised, and there isn’t exactly an A for Effort when you are collecting a paycheck.

    Lastly, regarding that paycheck, I absolutely agree that women are making less than their male counterparts because they refuse to ask for it. When I accepted my first job offer, I didn’t negotiate salary; I was 22 and 2 months out of college, I was just happy to have a job at all. The second time around, I was much more forceful with my negotiations. I knew I was qualified for the position, I listed what I was giving up in order to accept the position, and I did my homework. I knew the salary range for the position, I talked to others who had worked in similar positions, and knew salary negotiation was an expected part of job acceptance. So I wasn’t surprised when I asked for more, and got it. There is an unfounded fear in women that if you ask for more, they might just rescind the offer; that is just not the case. The worst they can say is no, we can’t offer you more at this time, then the ball is back in your court. At least you asked.

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