I once worked with a business coach who told me I had to stop smiling at men during meetings because it could be interpreted as me flirting with them.
Yes, you read that right.
What kind of world do we live in when a smile is misinterpreted as flirting in the business world?
You probably don’t need to guess that coach wasn’t around for very long.
Women get a lot of advice about how to succeed at work.
Not only is much of it conflicting, but it’s also extraordinarily offensive.
And, even though we’ve come pretty far—even during my career—we still have a long way to go.
Women Have Pancakes, Men Have Waffles
As of 2018, Ernst & Young didn’t have very many women working for their organization.
As a way to “empower” the women who do work there, and possibly build morale and an inclusive culture, and attract more women, they created an internal program called: Power, Presence, Purpose.
The purpose of the PPP program is to help women learn how to grow their networks, negotiate, and build stronger, high-performing teams.
Unfortunately, it has done the exact opposite of what they intended because of the “advice” they provide.
Let’s take a look at some of the quotes from the unbelievably misogynistic presentation that was obtained by the Huffington Post:
Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus. Men’s brains are more like waffles. They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square.
That tidbit and more about how women should behave in front of their men coworkers were included in the presentation.
Not only does it enforce outdated stereotypes and hold women to an impossible standard, but it also completely ignores other areas of privilege such as race, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
That’s why we’re taking a closer look at diversity issues in the communications industry.
The Spin Sucks Podcast on Diversity Issues
In this episode of the Spin Sucks Podcast you’ll hear about:
- Why equality isn’t a reality yet
- How the communications industry struggles with diversity
- A case study on diversity
- How to improve diversity and inclusion at work
What’s your experience with diversity in the workplace? How did you handle it? Are there certain situations you look out for now because of your experiences?
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