I have the privilege of working in a predominantly female workplace, and in the spirit of International Women’s Day I would like to share a short list of “Reasons Why Working with Women Rocks.”
(Since it is 2019, and I want to be crystal clear, we also love the wonderful men that work with us, but International Women’s Day is for the ladies. Also of note, many of the praiseworthy things listed below are not exclusively female traits, but again I remind you – International Women’s Day. Grain of salt y’all, grain of salt.)
1. Women Are Professional Jugglers ????
You hear it over and over again. Women are better multi-taskers than men. Is it out of environmental necessity or is it written into the genetic code? While actual studies on the topic have conflicting results, a recent study in the UK, published in the journal BMC Psychology, found that when testing a specific type of multi-tasking, juggling many tasks in rapid succession, women greatly outperformed men. When presented with the list of tasks individually, men and women performed equally well. But when the speed of succession was increased and the tasks jumbled, the men’s performance slowed 77%, while the women’s performance slowed only 69%. This may not seem like a big difference, but compounded over time, the difference in productivity could be significant. (source: BBC News)
So, there is a little bit of science for you, but seriously how about a little bit of straight up day-to-day observation. Even in this increasingly progressive world, women (in most cases) carry a disproportionate amount of the “at home project management responsibility” That means potentially coordinating the schedules of the entire family and juggling ALL THE THINGS – possibly in addition to their professional work load. And like all skills, successful practice increases proficiency.
Single mom as a prospective employee? Hell yes. That woman knows how to Get. Shit. Done. Heck, any mom as a prospective employee. Hell yes. We don’t discriminate. Not a mom? No problem. See the above research. It’s in your genetics ladies. You were made to Get. Shit. Done.
2. Let’s all say it together – Emotional Intelligence ????????
This one has been scientifically proven again and again. Women have higher levels of emotional intelligence. Supposedly it is an evolutionary thing. Here is the logic. A woman needs to know how to communicate and take care of an infant through non-verbal communication and facial cues. In short, in order for the human species to survive – women need to know how to “read” a facial expression with a higher degree of accuracy than men. Raise your hand if you think that is true. ????
In the work place, this can be a wonderful tool. Sometimes everything seems like it should be okay – logically – a meeting, an interaction, a sale. But something is just off. We live in the Midwest, the “Midwestern Nice” belt of the United States. People here are notoriously “polite” at the expense of being candid. Being able to detect when the emotions and the logic of a business interaction don’t match is a critical skill. And thanks to cavewomen taking care of little tiny cavebabies, women have the upper hand when it comes to this skillset.
3. Women are Excellent Collaborators ????
It takes a village. Again, history. Historically we existed in tribal societies. Our current social and societal norms are incredibly new in the grand scheme of human history. Historically tribes of women saw to the harmonious operations of the extended family and overall community, while the men-folk were out hunting, farming…..and in more recent times running ad agencies a la Mad Men. And they were freaking GREAT at it! All the collaboration! Hanging out and getting shit done!
In more modern times, normal is that there “is no normal.” There is every kind of family and situation imaginable, and people are rockin’ all of them – our collective community is a beautiful mosaic made up of all that variety. But it can’t be denied that decades of historical collaborative tribe building was led by women, and we see the benefits of that legacy in modern women in many many ways – including in the workplace.
4. Women are Less Afraid to Say “I don’t know” ????
A huge generalization to be sure, but one that I have found in my experience to be true.
While it is getting better, we do still live in a business world based on traits of masculine leadership, and one of the traits of masculine leadership is leadership based on certainty. It’s a lot of pressure – to be right all the time. I actually feel bad for men that have to navigate a business culture with such an unrealistic and frankly not very useful expectation.
Fortunately for us women, we are less encumbered by that history of pressure. It isn’t that women don’t lead, they just tend to lead differently. Leading an interaction to a useful outcome does not require that the interaction’s facilitator KNOWS the answer. She only needs to be able to guide the interaction to a useful outcome, and BOOM! Everyone wins.
5. Women Have a High Threshold of Pain ????????
And we are back to science…or at least generally accepted principles that sound sort of science-y. The truth is that pain is extremely subjective and the actual science of whether women really tolerate pain better than men shows mixed results. Pain sensitivity vs. Pain threshold…blah blah blah…..
BUT according to the very reputable MythBusters – it is TRUE! MythBusters orchestrated an experiment wherein they measured how long people could hold their hands in extremely cold water – and drumroll……WOMEN WON!!!
YAS Queens! As it relates to the workplace – and LIFE? Women tolerate discomfort gracefully. They work when they are sick or when their tummies hurt or if they have a splinter. Not that I am saying that men are weenies when they are sick……but…..there has to be a study on that somewhere.
6. Women Understand the Healing Power of Foods ????????????????
I saved the best for last.
This is when I love my office of ladies the most. Let me set the stage: Crazy busy week. Tons of deadlines. We are cranking it out. GETTING. SHIT. DONE.
Someone says, “This day is going to be off the chain. We had better decide what delicious things we are going to eat for lunch right now.” And that is how you know that you work with the BEST. TEAM. EVER.
Women. Women know that planning for the amazing buffalo cauliflower from the restaurant downstairs is vital to maximizing the productivity of the day – for many reasons.
1. You must take breaks.
2. You must feed your brain with nutritious food.
3. Let’s bond over delicousness.
So, there you have it. Six reasons why I love working in my workplace full of women. Happy International Women’s Day y’all. Let’s celebrate ALL the wonderful women out there kicking butt and taking names – living life and making the world better for everyone around them. Keep on killin’ it ladies.