Monday, December 5, 2011

It's A Man's World (Or Is It?)

In my new job, I work for a small  marketing firm, and every single one of the employees is a woman. I suppose this may be common in the marketing industry, but for me, it's extremely strange. I went to an engineering college with a 4:1 ratio of males to females, and at my previous company, I was the only girl on my team for 3 years straight.

Climbing the corporate ladder, er, stairs
At first I really missed being surrounded by techies who know how to use a FTP server and love good ol' Windows PCs (what is it with marketing people and Apple?), but now that I've been out of that environment for over a year, I do have to admit something. At the engineering company, I worked in a man's world. Not that people treat me with equality and respect and whatever, but... I found it very hard to make friends and that was detrimental. During work, all the guys on my technical marketing team would talk about sports and cars and other "manly things" that I had no interest or experience in. And after work, they would hang out socially and became fast friends. As a married woman, I just felt weird inviting some male coworker over for dinner. Maybe if I were bolder, I would have regularly hosted parties for my entire team, but I'm a closet introvert at heart. And to be honest, I've always connected more with the R&D team because all the marketing guys just seemed... a little too polished, not as genuine.

Anyway, all that is to say that friendships at work get you promoted, and at my past company, I was hitting a glass ceiling. However, I can't say that it was because of gender differences, but rather my shyness at work. Honestly, it all comes down to likeability and networking because K has the same problem. Every time he joins a new company with existing cliques, he has a tough time breaking in and even finding people to go out to lunch with. We both don't tend to make friends at work easily, and it can have devastating results if not dealt with promptly. So in a way, I'm glad I got a second chance with my new company and have no problems relating to my new coworkers. Too bad we all work from home and in different states. ^_~


Anonymous said...

Interesting point. Although I have to wonder also if making friends at work simply depends many variables, I was friends with both male and female at work but we did not spend time outside of that socially because we were interested in different things, too busy, different spending habits, hobbies etc.-not to mention the appropriateness of who to invite where. Perhaps your new role is simply a better fit and where God wants you to be? ;-)

A Gamer's Wife said...

Yeah, I think I'm just not really the type to be friends with coworkers for one reason or another. Luckily, my new managers are both really nice and seem interested in my life, even if we do work remotely. :)