10 Workplace Rules You're Not Going to Like
October 22, 2009
Does sexism still exist in the workplace? Of course it does. But it’s no longer in the form of an unsolicited smack on the behind or blatant, belittling comment. Modern day sexism is less obvious, more subtle, harder to put your finger on. It’s also harder to fight.
In her blog post “Top 10 Uwritten Rules That Could Sabotage Your Career,” life coach and keynote speaker Ann Daly says “beyond laws and regulations and attitude is the deepest, most pervasive, most unconscious layer of our lives: culture … it’s the culture of patriarchy in which power and privilege accrue to the men.”
She goes on to talk about how this patriarchal culture manifests itself in the workplace, often in the most inconspicuous ways.
To that end, she put together a list of ten rules that apply to women in the workplace, whether or not they know it, like it, or deserve it (um, of course we don’t).
1. Men get the benefit of the doubt
2. Looks matter
3. You won’t get sufficient feedback
4. A working mother’s commitment is assumed to be ambivalent
5. Actually, it is personal
6. Men are bred for self-confidence
7. Women are rendered invisible until they demonstrate otherwise
8. Women don’t take charge, they take care
9. Women are different
10. Women make great worker-bees, but visionary leaders—not so much.
And if you think about it, the prevalence of these rules isn’t so hard to believe. Ann says men will more often apply for jobs they aren’t 100% qualified for, an indicator of confidence (merited or not). She says women get shut out of the old boys’ club. And that your male boss may be reluctant to give you critical feedback (how else are you supposed to grow?).
But Daly is not without hope. She says that by knowing what we’re up against, women can begin to take their careers into their own hands. And by the looks of it, we’ve got our work cut out for us.