Do Women Need To Compromise To Succeed

Do Women Need To Compromise To Succeed

Do women need to compromise to succeed in a male-dominated corporate world?

The answer to this question depends a great deal on how the traditional male culture is defined. It may be, for example, that such a culture is one of long hours and hard work and people who are not seen to work to the accepted pattern are criticized. This may be appropriate when managers within that culture are under pressure and are pulling their own weight, but it is not fair on colleagues if they behave otherwise.

However, it is possible for women managers to assert their own perspectives and behaviors in a way in which they feel comfortable. Many women believe that traditional management practices of control no longer work, as such methods assume static world and must therefore be modified or become extinct as different skills are required. If, as current trends suggest, confrontation and adversarial attitudes are becoming less useful, those men and women who are able to demonstrate more cooperative behaviors will be called upon to put these skills and attitudes into practice.

The business world seems to be moving away from the idea that women have to be honorary men', even though this was a characteristic of the generation which entered the work market around the 1950s. Women have also observed that in the 1980s many female managers did succeed where others had failed by adopting a male style, but have concluded that this was not to be helpful for women in the long run.

One manager who had observed the behavior of some women who thought that they needed to act, look and sound like men commented, 'Most men react violently against such behavior, and other women are not impressed either. It's difficult to find the balance and sometimes you can even be insulted for assuming a normal female perspective. I've often found the pejorative smother-hood' statement leveled against my views - in fact, "motherhood" is thought of as a soft perspective. Do they know about mother tigers, I wonder?'

There is another belief that women who adopt a male style and culture too completely actually disable them-selves, because 'moving away from an "authentic" style induces high stress levels and has consequences on the ability to relate to: and manage people. Women who do this are often resented by both men and women'.




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