Chatty Cathys

Posted: August 15, 2011 in Ramblings
Tags: ,

We had a few new hires start in our group today, and something dawned on me: I really don’t enjoy female-centric culture in corporate America.

As the three new hires (all female) came down from meeting the CEO, they were greeted by the current hires with hugs, inquiries about what they had changed about their hair and future hair plans in addition to the other things and sounds girls make when they’re in big groups. And then the rest of the group joined in in welcoming the new hires. And that’s when it hit me: the group is female heavy.

All of the incoming classes are usually 50-50, but the director levels and above are 75% female – and I think that’s great for female empowerment. However, the tone of a female-dominated in corporate America is brutal. I am a male feminist as you all well know, but females in corporate America are often forced to exhibit the most feminine and unempowered behaviors – hair flips, lilted voices, exaggerated femininity and a sense of  ‘I am an empowered woman who just wants a career…and to be married with children and then quit working’.

I think that last thing I said sounds bad, but there are two woman that I work with who are the opposite. They are females who don’t exhibit any unempowered traits, but instead of feminine in a way that you take them seriously and they don’t build their lives around weddings, celebrity culture, hair, boys, gossip and ‘the ring.’ It’s not the end all be all for these women I respect, but they do discuss it — it just doesn’t consume them. Also, I think in the case of these women, they also don’t force a rigid gender dynamic on others.

It’s fine though, it’s another thing that I have to learn to adjust to as a life lesson. I wouldn’t enjoy a hypermasculine bro environment either. Perhaps, the people in my group are on to something when they tell me I should be an academic (and surround myself with similar people).

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