YOU – do you like to work with women? Is it easier with men?

So, as you look at yesterday’s blog… what emotions do you feel? In your opinion, was anything I said true?

And what of the video? I know most people don’t have time to watch the video all the way, but you can watch one or two minutes and get the point – it is an old school training video (about 40+ years old), supposedly enlightened for the time. The HR guy in the end comforts the foreman by telling him, “You needed someone, and there was no man available.”

This is a huge subject. Surely we can agree men and women are different. I’ve been thinking about it… and I hope some of you college and twentysomethings give me some thoughts. I wonder how emotionally laden it is for your generation, as opposed to mine (fortysomething) and the generation above me? There’s been an ongoing dialogue in my brain since I finished a book on women in leadership recently. My Fair Lady was on tv Sunday, and watching it further pumped up the volume on those inner voices!

How do you really feel about women? Forget political correctness! Do you prefer male or female friends? Co-workers? With whom would you rather work on a project? What irritates you about women? C’mon Men, you have total immunity in this zone. I promise I will not accuse you of being sexist! (Even if you, like Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady, want to burst into the song, “Why Can’t a Woman, Be More Like a Man?”).
Tell the truth…

11 thoughts on “YOU – do you like to work with women? Is it easier with men?

  1. Hey Scotty, thanks for stopping by! Interesting insights, esp regarding some of the previous generations of women and what they had to face. (Readers, his field is the military). Now to get some more men to comment…


  2. OK, Barby, I’ll bite:I work in a very male dominated filed. In principle, I have no issues working with women. I have no issues working with men, in principle, either. There have been men I couldn’t work with and there have been women I’ve had trouble working with. In my field, I tend to have a little more instant respect for the women due to the fact that they had to choose to enter and work hard to succeed in the male dominated field. It seems to me that the women of the generation or 2 before me (There’s a woman I work with who received her first Professional Engineering license from the State of CA addressed to MR. Margaret…. because the Mr. was part of the form – no women got Engineering licenses back then) tend to be a little more … difficult? this isn’t a universal truth, but it is understandable due to the challenges they faced getting there. I have certainly become close friends with more men from work than women, but I think this is only appropriate. (and I’m sure my wife would agree!)So there’s my 2 cents… and with the current value of the dollar, well….


  3. Okay, so mostly gals have commented so far. Except for one special man…Amy, I understand the brittleness thing – and you are not the only one to mention it. I know we need to be tough. Could it be we’re afraid of being taken advantage of if we’re not that way? Hmm. Melissa, definitely understand the scumbag aspect. Horrible to be friendly to a guy and have his ego interpret that as something else.Heather, you won’t have to eat those words! It is almost seeming like the consensus among the women that it is a bit easier to work with me. Ann Marie, good point about balance! That’s a legitimate aspect. Now if only men appreciated the fact that they need our perspective for balance!Anonymous, the cultural aspect is also a very good point. And no offense to anyone given my own cultural background…So now I need to convince a few men to get over here and comment! We need the balance!!


  4. Well, I’m in the Granny generation; I can’t speak for all my contemporaries, but this has been my experience, which has been different depending on the culture I was in (Latin America or U.S.). In college in the U.S., I made friends equally well with guys and gals. It was very refreshing to be able to have genuine friendships with guys, without worrying about romantic undertones as was the case in L.A. As a young adult working in offices in New York City, there was a general idea –among us females– that female bosses were to be avoided because of their cattiness. I had a female coworker that was a real pain. But looking back over my life, I think I can say that at work, it really depends on the individual and not the sex.One thing I learned in Latin American culture is that married women should be extremely cautious about male friendships. There is a boundary that should not be crossed, and that is equally true in Anglo-Saxon culture, even if people don’t want to recognize it. I have a gringo guy friend whose wife went off with his best friend — yet this guy is a friend who is truly like a brother to me.I wasn’t able to watch the video because my Internet connection kept stopping and starting. But if he remarked at the end about the unavailability of men to do the job, I would refer back to Deborah in the Bible! And … this is getting too long. Maybe I’ll expound more later on!


  5. in my experience, it depends on the project. men and women have different assets and liabilities that surface according to what they are working on. if i HAD to choose, it would be a guy. i’m a chick so i’d provide the female perspecive and my male colleague can provide the guy perspective, that way there’s balance.


  6. OK,am I gonna eat these words? Here goes it: I tend to wanna hang w/ guys. BUT! The SOLE reason is that's all I've known. My extended family is dominated by men; I had 3 brothers & no sisters. My current home has 3 guys. Most of my bosses have been men. Gheesh…even my parent's pets are all boys. Had it been the other way, I'm sure its safe to say I'd tend to prefer hangin' w/ the girls.


  7. First, props to Dad for shamelessly trying to earn brownie points…. My generation? It’s a pretty emotionally laden issue. You better believe we (women) can do any job as good as a man, and if you tell us otherwise, we’ll punch you in the face (that might just be my gut reaction). Maybe some jobs are more challenging, but we are certainly capable of rising to the challenge.Concerning who is easier to work with, see my comment to your last post… Initial interaction is usually easier with guys (assuming they’re not scumbags). I would say a majority of my friends are guys. It’s hard to articulate; there’s (usually) less pretense to worry about. With women, you can sort of feel the judgements/assumptions that get made about you, because they are the same thoughts you have yourself about other women. I suppose we sort of deserve this aspect of things…So, superficial friendships (which normally occur while you’re in the workplace) are easier with guys. Which is why it’s easier to work with them. But often those superficial friendships remain superficial. This is not to say that close friendships with guys don’t exist, because they do. When I consider my close friends, the ratio of guys to gals is about even. But these are the friendships that take time to develop.My closest friends, the ones that understand me the best, are all women. Strong women that I can learn something from and that inspire me. This is because there are things men simply cannot and will never understand.So, the simple answer to the friendship question: it depends.In response to Amy’s comment, women in power tend to be brittle because they have to be. The fact is, the playing field is still not completely fair.The tricky part is figuring out how to be a strong woman without exuding…. meanness (to put it nicely).I love My Fair Lady, but the end always bothers me….As soon as Novemeber rolls around and I’m done with this midterm craziness, I’m going to attempt to read that book.


  8. Well Barby, not sure I have any intellectual answers here… but I can give you a glimpse into my current opinion on the female sex!! Lucy has entered 1st grade and already has been ‘in’ and ‘out’ of ‘the club’ a dozen times. The cattiness of the girls is astounding. They are literally scratching each other. It has all made me remember how much more I enjoyed hanging out with ‘the guys’ because it was always simpler. I didn’t really worry what they thought about me. In my college and professional life, I have usually worked with more men than women because of my field… but some of the women (especially in management) were not always very respected – or pleasant to work with. Usually because they had this undefined brittleness to them. That being said, I’ve also worked with some great women who were easy to deal with and really knew their stuff.So… how do I feel about women? I think they’re fantastic! But they also scare the crap out of me half the time!! 🙂


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