Despite the attempts to achieve equality in the organizational setting, companies still recognize that male and female workers are different, which is the central idea of diversity. Although there is no evidence that one of these groups works better than another, one cannot deny the fact that they differ in their communication patterns, attitudes, behavior, and many other aspects (Bundy, 2017). In this short essay, I aim to explore these differences in detail to understand how employers can use this knowledge. I also argue that despite the differences, both gender groups have much in common when it comes to their careers and workplace relationships, and the existing differences mainly originate from social gender expectations and individual characteristics rather than biological factors.
So, what do researchers say about this issue? To begin with, scholars believe that men tend to focus on the results of their work, while women are also interested in the process itself. In other words, female employees are more concerned about how the goals are met (Gray & Annis, 2016). For men, the workplace is the highly hierarchal structure in which they have defined roles and follow the authority. For women, however, the workplace is more about the relationships and the shared goals. Although they respect the leadership and accept hierarchies, they also believe that all voices should be heard, regardless of the experience or position (McFayden, 2017).
Furthermore, some researchers suggest that women demonstrate better communication and conflict-resolution skills because they are good listeners and can convey the message clearly (Bundy, 2017). They are more empathetic and able to adjust to employees’ needs if needed, while men may find it hard to soften their demands. Interestingly, it is also believed that men are less likely to ask questions because they fear to look ignorant or unprofessional, while female workers are less concerned about diminishing their image. Similarly, men do not like to be criticized and give feedback, while women consider constructive criticism as the key motivational factor in their career growth (Cohn & Usheroff, 2017). In addition, women are not afraid of asking someone’s opinion and allowing all workers to contribute to the shared goals, while men see this behavior as the sign of weakness.
Gannon (2012) mentioned several more qualities characteristic for each gender group. Thus, the scholar believed that female employees tend to be good team players, and they are typically more supportive than male workers, which may be explained by the differences in emotional intelligence. Moreover, women are hard-working and committed; they are ready to compromise their personal life and work long hours, compared to men who find it acceptable to make up stories to get a sick day on find external causes of their failure. However, it would be wrong to argue that men possess less positive characteristics. In fact, they are so successful in the workplace because they ask for what they want and are more confident in using technologies and connecting with colleagues (Gannon, 2012).
In my opinion, all these differences stem from different gender expectations in the workplace, as well as from individual characteristics. If one takes these factors out of the equation, there would be many things in common between male and female employees. There are hard-working, dedicated, and successful workers in both groups, and everything depends on an individual’s worldviews, beliefs, commitment, and knowledge. I agree with the mentioned scholars that men and women demonstrate some typical behavioral patterns, but I think that they are still similar in many critical aspects when it comes to building careers.
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Bundy, C. (2017). Gender diversity: How men & women differ in the workplace. Expedite. Retrieved from https://expedite-consulting.com/men-women-differ-workplace/
Cohn, B. B., & Usheroff, R. (2017). How men and women communicate differently at work. Retrieved from https://www.businessknowhow.com/growth/gendercommunication.htm
Gannon, D. (2012). How men and women differ in the workplace. The Fiscal Times. Retrieved from http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/05/25/How-Men-and-Women-Differ-in-the-Workplace
Gray, J., & Annis, B. (2016). Work with me: How gender intelligence can help you succeed at work and in life. London: Little, Brown Book Group Limited.
McFayden, S. (2017). 5 major differences between men and women at work. Red Ventures. Retrieved from https://www.redventures.com/blog/2015/11/18/5-major-differences-between-men-and-women-at-work/