Fairly often, one might observe cases of women coworkers’ unfair treatment at the workplace. The article “9 Things NOT to Say to Women Coworkers” points out the most common examples, such as sexual comment, excessive emotionality, and others. However, it goes without saying that the above statements undermine the leadership of women leaders.
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Women executives have to face plenty of prejudices and the inappropriate relation of men colleagues. Harvey and Allard (2015) claim that it occurs “when women’s leadership styles differ from men’s, it contributes to a perception that women are less qualified when in fact they may be equally or even more qualified” (p. 124). In particular, women leaders tend to be more emotional and decisive in their solutions. Although, it should not be considered as their leadership style failure indicator. For example, the words “sweetie,” “cutie,” or “honey” said in the formal workplace environment might offend and confuse women leaders as they reflect some portion of the disrespect.
The second thing not to say to women coworkers’ is the common stereotype concerning women’s aggressiveness during the menstrual cycle. As a result, the same actions of men and women leaders are interpreted concerning gender. For instance, if men make some decisions with some extent of defiance, it will be regarded as proper male performance while the same action made by women will be a sign of the fact that she cannot cope with stress.
At the same time, women executives often hear the statement as follows: “You aren’t as aggressive with your subordinates as you should be” (9 Things NOT to Say to Women Coworkers, 2016, para. 8) that contradicts to the previous one. It seems that such a statement also undermines the female leadership discriminating against the very essence of the woman in a bid to make it more “manly.” Nevertheless, leadership should not be accompanied by aggression or abuse under any circumstances.
For a long time, women did not work at all. However, the situation completely changed, while stereotypes remain. Plenty of coworkers strongly believe that the majority of women got their job only because they are women despite the fact that they graduate the University receiving necessary knowledge and skills in a particular area equally with men. Undoubtedly, such treatment causes distrust of the staff towards women leaders, forcing them to prove their competence again and again.
One more preconceived statement is that female leaders and family cannot be integrated. In other words, women’s career cannot go in line with happy children and husband. “This is a fatal error in judgment, especially for companies looking to improve gender diversity among their senior executives” (9 Things NOT to Say to Women Coworkers, 2016, para. 13). Additionally, it creates the image of a lonely, indifferent, and miserable woman. No doubt that the latter disrupts the women leadership causing disregard and compassion towards them instead of expected admiration and desire to follow.
Finally, “Are you pregnant?” question asked in the office seems rather personal and intimate. Coworkers should understand that it is none of their businesses to ask such an indecently thing.
Thus, attempts to identify and treat women coworkers as well as leaders with respect are essential for the peaceful relationships at the workplace. It seems that these nine things noted in the article are indeed not to say to women coworkers to avoid their unfair treatment.
9 Things NOT to Say to Women Coworkers. (2016). DiversityInc. Web.
Harvey, C. P., & Allard, M. J. (2015). Understanding and managing diversity: Readings, cases, and exercises (6th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education.