What men should never say to female co-workers!
Corporate culture is male coded. Although things are getting better, there are a number of things men should never say to their female colleagues. Every day sexism is so deeply embedded, and much of it starts with seemingly harmelss office banter. It sounds like nothin, but it eventually gets women down.
Here is our list of things men should never say to their female colleagues
# 1 You’re doing great for a woman!
No woman wants to hear that anyone thinks she is doing well because she is a woman. Men should really never say this at all.
#2 Comment on their appearance
Comments on a woman’s appearance are in appropriate in the workplace unless you have a long established relationship and the comment will not be misconstrued. Even compliments may back fire, especially if it involves comments about weight gain or loss. Does that mean she looked less good yesterday or last month? You also have no idea what’s going on for her. She’s lost weight, maybe she’s working out. Maybe she’s sick. You don’t know. So add this to your list of things men should never say
#3 sexual innuendos or behaviour
Sexual innuendos and double entendres are completely prohibited. Flirting , sexting and anything sexual has a place in people’s lives, but not the office. You are also leaving yourself wide open for a sexual harassment complaint. This would include inappropriate physical contact, lecherous glances, invasion of personal space, whistling or suggestive body language and gestures.
#4 Affectionate names
She is not your “sweetie”, “lovie”, “hon”, or heaven help us “babe.” Do not tell her ” “not to worry her pretty little head” About anything. Ever. In fact remove little from your vocabulary. Whatever gave you that idea?
#5 “Calm down” or “no need to get so worked up”
The minute you tell a woman not to get worked up, to calm down, or to stop being emotional is the moment when she will hit top C. Just don’t go there.
#6 Are you having you period?
See above – prepare to get your face smacked with a stapler. Or worse. No, she just thinks your work is bad.
#7 Be more/ less assertive
The assertiveness trap drives women crazy. Too much or too little, it’s never quite right. If you think it’s appropriate to give feedback, do so in a professional context. You are not her boss, so ask her permission first and use constructive communication language. “When x happens …I feel that……”
Women are expected to smile. If your co-worker is not smiling it’s because she doesn’t want to, is busy doing her job, or simply doesn’t like you. Get over it.
These comments over time build up to create a corporate culture while not unfriendly to women, serve to act as a turn off.
What do women say to men that they should re-think. Let us know!
If you want to tackle unconscious bias in your organisation contact 3Plus now