Why women need to arrive early

Women need to arrive early, even if they’re busy

Over-scheduling and busyness are chronic problems for most women, but the reason women need to arrive early is part of a much bigger challenge

Women have a tendency to over-schedule with a non-stop flow of meetings, commitments and tasks. As a result, we are often late getting anywhere, or maybe just manage to scoot in on time. It’s a small thing being able to get somewhere before the allotted time. Some would say its a waste of energy and is counter productive. But to avoid missing out on important conversations,  women need to arrive early. Very often it is the time when the important informal discussions takes place as people hang out before a meeting, and even afterwards. This is when the real relationship building, networking, knowledge transfer, job search and business development takes place. So to be included in these vital exchanges women need to arrive early to meetings and other functions with time to spare for those important discussion which are vital to career development.

 

women need to arrive early

And when you do arrive early make sure you use that time to engage with the people there and don’t go on your phone to take care of or catch up with other less important business. This tells everyone you are more important than they are and you are not present.  To quote Simon Sinek: “When we break eye contact to check our phones we degrade trust. Let’s keep our phones away from meals and meetings.

If you are missing out on informal meetings, what else could you be missing? Contact 3Plus NOW to learn more about our Career Audit services.

Busyness

But the lack of time to arrive early for meetings is symptomatic of broader and deeper problems. If you ask any woman how she is, she will probably tell you she is “busy.” I tested 5 men and 5 women in my office and there were clear gender differences in their responses. The male replies were professional only and limited to a couple of pressing work issues at the most. My female colleagues comments confirmed what people suggest. Women overschedule. I got lists of all the things they are busy doing, which included a range of personal and professional commitments. This included:

  • Birthday parties for the kids
  • A leaving lunch for a colleague
  • Picking up dry cleaning
  • A trip to plan
  • A wedding to plan
  • An important project for work

Much of this is related to the invisible work that women do at home and higher levels of domestic responsibility than their partners as well as the informal emotional work they do in the office.

More of the Mental Work

Women tend to do more of the intellectual, mental, and emotional work of childcare and household maintenance. They also do more of the learning and information processing work such as  finding piano teachers or planning vacations. They also tend to worry more about what is going on for their kids. And they do more organizing and delegating. Today as an increasing number of younger men no longer take on “male coded tasks” known in some circles are “blue work,” women also assume responsiblity for the mental work of that too. Organising the gardener,  getting online to Task Rabbit to get some DIY work done and so on. 60% of UK women say they are more proficient at DIY than their male partners!

Women assuming responsibility

Women have generally been raised to please. When they don’t slot into standard role expectations they experience gender blow-back. On the basis that the only behaviour women can change is their own they have to stop being sponges and absorbing every one else’s responsibilities. This is what you can do:

  • negotiate with your partner for a 50% domestic split
  • let the non-career work in your office go – it’s holding you back
  • arrive early for meetings

It’s not rocket science!

How do you come across in the workplace? Try our FREE Executive Presence Self-Assessment

3Plus, 3Plus online e-Gazine for professional women, Female Talent Pipeline, Personal & Professional Development, Work-Life Integration
Staff Writer: Career
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