Finally following up on Honey’s posting on the article The End of Men, about how women are now the majority of the workforce. The article is long as hell and took me like forever to read, but here’s what it boils down to. Ready?
- There are more women than men in the workforce for the first time.
- More women are getting college degrees than men.
- More chicks in the workplace boosts the performance of a company.
- Women are valuable because they’re socially intelligent and have strong intellects (agreed)
- Men are weanies (also generally agree with).
So that’s the gist of it. Thought provoking article, I do recommend checking it out.
I will respond with a couple of personal anecdotes.
My Former Boss Thinks Women Make Better Employees
At my last company, a web design firm, the majority of the employees were women. In fact, at one point during my years there, there was a low point of four dudes (one was the CEO) and the rest chicks (over a dozen). All of the designers and coders (except for one) were dudes. Every other position was held by a woman: front desk, project manager, marketing, business development, sales, accounting, etc. It was the reverse of a sausage fest, whatever you call that, and we cracked jokes about it all the time. Coincidence or not, it was a nice environment to be in and it was clear to me that part of that was the skewed ratio.
Anyway, why? I had a couple of bar conversations with the CEO and this is what he told me: women make better employees. They’re more loyal, they stick around longer, they less frequently look for other jobs, they don’t rock the boat and give the boss shit, and for the coup de grace, they’re easier to manage. Not long before I joined the company, it had been predominantly male with male VP’s and male managers and he described that time period as sheer hell, because all the dudes were busy trying to tear each other apart. It was a lousy drama-fest that ended with restraining orders and lawsuits. He eventually got rid of all those guys and hired women in their places. It’s been harmonious ever since.
So I think there’s this insidious thought out there at the C-level that women are easier to control/manage, so it’s wise to stock your low and mid level positions with chicks because they’re better employees. Agree or disagree?
Also, is it a compliment to call female professionals better employees and easier to manage? It seems like it should be but I’m not so sure. It makes them seem…docile?? If someone called me easy to manage I’m not sure I would like that.
I Work At A Sausage Fest
At my new place, a technology firm, it’s a total sausage fest. At our low point there was precisely one woman (marketing) and the rest dudes, which was like 15. All of the developers, coders, and designers are guys and it’s worth noting that the fellas are brilliant at those roles. We have since hired more women: front desk, accounting, executive assistant, sales, a couple of manager positions.
This company is vastly more volatile than the one described above. There were several weeks there in the beginning of the year when I didn’t know if the doors would be closed because something fucked up happened over the weekend. Thankfully, we’re on more stable ground now. The company culture is harmonious and I attribute much of that to our CEO who is a brilliant relationship builder but also to our recent (female) hirings.
On the flipside, we’ve had a revolving door of dudes leave the company since I started, perhaps a half dozen. Guys will just do that, it seems, they get antsy and look for other jobs. I know I’ve done that a lot. In fact, that’s why I left company A above and moved to company B, because company B was totally lame (and stable).
Touching on the last point from the Atlantic article, almost to a man, the dudes in the company are weanies. You know that guy you have pictured that’s a total computer geek, and not in a nerdy cool way? That’s these guys. They’re all brilliant and good peeps, but damn. So I have to generally agree with the main points of The End of Men.
Sports and Women
For a good chunk of years I coached sports professionally, both men’s and women’s team. People asked me this question all the time, “What’s the difference coaching men and women?” That was often followed up by a statement about how coaching women must have been more difficult, they tend towards more drama, they socialize more at practice, they break down and cry more, etc.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Coaching female athletes is significantly easier than coaching men. This was the dirty secret in the coaching fraternity…we knew that easy street was had by coaching the women’s teams. In fact, we used to joke that we could bust our balls for a few year coaching guys and then “retire” by moving over to the women’s side.
The hardest, most drama-filled seasons were always the ones with the guys, and the more talented the male athletes, the harder they were to manage. If things got tough (ie we were losing), guys would tend to quit, or bitch incessantly, or fight with each other, or question the coach’s authority. Sometimes they would physically fight…no joke.
I rarely had these problems with the women’s team, and if I did, it was at such a low level as to be barely noticeable. The female athletes got along better, they never quit, they were mentally tougher, they were grinders, they supported one another. For me, sports coaching is like real life but at the social, emotional, and physical boundaries of team dynamics. Competition reveals individual character, and the more demanding the competition, the more it reveals.
So yeah, I think women do make better workers in at the workplace. I don’t think it’s good or bad, I think it is what it is. I also think the overwhelming majority of guys are beta and have below average social intelligence, which is a big reason why there are more chicks than dudes in the workforce now. Basically, guys are too jackassey and they’re getting passed over for jobs. But part of me likes it this way. As an alpha dog, I want to be a team player but I don’t want to be known as being unambitious or docile. I stand out because I’m edgy and I rock the boat just a little bit.