DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, EVERYWOMAN
My boss has formed a laddish rapport with the men on our team, and they go out drinking a lot. As a woman, I feel excluded, and I think I’m being overlooked for important projects. Some of the women on the team are happy to play up to the macho atmosphere, but I don’t feel I should have to. What can I do?
YOU’RE not alone – this is a problem we hear from a lot of women. Cultures like this exist because people aren’t aware of the effect their behaviour has, so it won’t change unless you’re prepared to raise it.
Explain how you don’t feel you’re being allowed to make the most of your position in the team. Keep it business focused, and be very calm and collected about it. The crucial thing is to be explicit about specific situations, rather than generic – have some examples ready to demonstrate what you’re talking about.
Speak to the other women in the office too. Even if they seem to be playing along, that may be because they feel pressured to – we often hear from women who feel that they’re being forced to lead a Jekyll and Hyde existence when they don’t want to.
Think clearly about what it is you’d like to be different and what you feel you’re being excluded from, so that you can articulate this to the manager. When you do so, they’ll often be surprised to learn about it and change things.