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Gentlemen Speak: Women Make the Workplace Better For Everyone, Including Men

Ladies, please don't feel like you have to leave your femininity at home.

aleksandr-slyadnev Cisco

Art Credit: Aleksandr Slyadnev

As a man, I hope you'll forgive me if I disagree with Hanna Rosin when she claims that we're seeing "the end of men." I do, however, agree that we live in a world where being a woman, and all that it entails, can be more of an asset to one's career than a hindrance. The workplace has become an environment where the feminine genius can thrive; where the keys to success are more intuitive to the feminine mind than the stereotypical male mind. Whether we like to admit it or not, men should look to women to learn these increasingly marketable skills.

Women are generally better at empathy, teamwork, compassionate leadership than men and make the workplace a better environment to grow as professionals.

Still, I often notice women trying to imitate male qualities in the workplace. One common way is when women match the aggressiveness of male colleagues, perhaps mistaking it with assertiveness. Yes, men tend to be more aggressive than women, but that isn't necessarily a good thing worth emulating. Aggressive behavior in the workplace can lead to overpowering and ignoring the valid opinion of quieter coworkers. Assertiveness, however, allows one to stand by their opinions and values without disrespecting others.

For those who work in workplaces where females are a minority, I'd like to offer a note of encouragement. Try not to let your environment impact your womanhood and how you express it. You don't have to love Monday Night Football, happy-hour beer pong, or cigars with the guys to get ahead. If you do, that's fine; but don't do it on our account. The Boys Club is overrated.

(Photo by Aleksandr Slyadnev)