We’ve all been hearing and talking about the surge of men getting fired, losing control of their companies, and otherwise being disciplined for sexual harassment and other bad behavior — and we’ve all been heartened by the groundswell of support for the women and men brave enough to come forward. I’m hopeful that we are … Read More about Sexual Harassment, Office Culture, Resumes, and “Boys Being Boys”
“How a Little Lipstick Could Add Thousands To Your Paycheck” — that’s the title of a recent Fortune article reporting on a new study. Anyone else feeling a little stabby? We thought we’d take a closer look at the research and discuss it here. Some questions to consider at the outset: Do you agree that “good grooming” affects your … Read More about Wear Makeup, Increase Your Salary?
How should you respond when a coworker takes credit for your work? Reader N writes in with this great question: Surprised I can’t find this in the archives: How do you deal with a colleague (usually male) stealing your ideas, passing them off as his own in meetings with clients and/or repeating what you’ve said … Read More about What to Do if a Colleague Takes Credit for Your Work
2017 Update: You might want to check out our more recent post on sexual harassment and the #metoo movement. WOW. Staci Zaretsky over at Above the Law has collected some amazing sexual harassment at work stories from women lawyers, and the collection is too… revolting, I guess?… to not discuss over here. (My first reaction to the … Read More about Sexual Harassment at Work
How should you handle it when your client hits on you? We got an emergency email from reader K, who is getting a bit uncomfortable with a prospective customer and his unwanted sexual advances at work — the client asked her out! I am a [physical product that attaches to buildings*] sales woman. During intermittent conversation with … Read More about When Your Client Hits On You: How to Deal with Unwanted Sexual Advances at Work
What’s the difference between confidence and arrogance, especially at work, especially for women? How can you tell if you’ve crossed that line at work? Reader A wonders… I’ve got a sensitive subject that I haven’t seen discussed about discipline at work. I was recently hired at a law office where I’ve summered the last two … Read More about Being Confident at Work vs. Being Arrogant
If you’re running for the train in high heels and find yourself getting left behind by a male colleague (or a woman, for that matter) as you struggle to keep the pace, is that coworker simply being rude? What should you do next time?
Reader L wonders:
I am from Germany and I love your Blog. Some topics are differently handled here but still most of the tips and advice can be applied here as well. I have experienced some male behaviour which I just find to be rude but I wanted to know if other women have experienced it as well and how they dealt with it. I was travelling with my former boss and and we went to meetings with potential partners etc. I usually wore heels. After the meeting we really had to hurry to catch a train. Meaning he walked extremely fast and did not look after me where I was. I really had trouble keeping up with him. The other time I was prepared and wore flats but then we actually had to run to get to the train. A couple of weeks ago I was travelling with a sort of male CEO and the train was a bit late, but we still had more than enough time to get to our appointment. I was also pacing, almost running, just seeing that he did not bump into others.
I’ve seen situations like this unfold — and I definitely have Opinions. I’m curious to hear what the readers say. To recap, we’ve talked about comfortable heels, the best commuting shoes, how to walk quietly in heels, how to look professional in flats, and traveling with coworkers — but I haven’t stated my pretty stark opinion on heel height for work in a while…. so here goes:
If you cannot walk quickly in your shoes, you are wearing the wrong shoes to work. If the people you work with — whether women or men — are forced to change their routines and wait for you because of your fashion choices, you are making the wrong fashion choices.
The right time to wear shoes you can’t walk in: a) when they are limo shoes (as in, the limo picks you up at your door and drops you off at the restaurant where you have to walk exactly three steps before you sit down), b) when you’re a model, or c) when you’re a trophy wife or the princess daughter. OK, fine, one more: when you’re d) the boss and Can Do Whatever You Like Because You Set the Pace.
Maybe I’m being harsh — or too New Yorker-ish — but the business world moves quickly. When you’re lower on the career ladder, you have to follow other people’s pace.
Something else that I think Reader L is discovering is a personality I like to call the Eccentric Genius, which is a special breed of coworker/boss (usually an older man) who has either developed or kept odd quirks that have been tolerated by those around him because he is Very Intelligent and a High Earner. Maybe he runs and bumps into others, but there are other versions of this same personality — one partner I used to work with had a thing about playing Tetris while giving assignments, hearing reports, brainstorming, whatever. As in, he sat with his back facing me and casually played Tetris the entire time. Charming! I’ve found that the best you can do is realize what the little quirks are, adapt as best you can if you need to continue the working relationship, and ultimately decide if want to continue the relationship at all. (Maybe I’m a pessimist, but the thought of trying to change this behavior, or somehow acknowledging it as rude or antisocial, never occurred to me as a real possibility.)
Next time, Reader L, make sure you have PLENTY of time so you’re not late, plan as much in advance so you don’t have to carry a ton of paperwork or anything with you, and possibly wear shoes you can run in.
Ladies, have you been left behind by coworkers because you couldn’t walk quickly enough in your heels? Have you had to work with difficult personalities at work (Eccentric Geniuses or otherwise) who had rude, antisocial habits? (Ladies on the other side of the table — have you gotten annoyed at coworkers who couldn’t walk quickly in high heels?)
N.B. PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS ON TOPIC; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course I highly value all comments by my readers, I’m going ask you to please respect some boundaries on substantive posts like this one. Thank you for your understanding!
Should you join the office boys’ club if you’ll be the only woman? What if your male coworkers meet and talk shop outside of work while taking part in an activity — such as tennis or golf — that you don’t even like? Reader K, who works outside of the U.S., wonders: I have a question regarding the ‘old boy’s … Read More about Joining the Boys’ Club When You’re a Woman
What should you do when a flirtatious colleague — one who’s kind of your boss — is hitting on you at work? Reader J wonders… I am a (female) BigLaw associate, who has become the focus of flirtatious attention from a (male) partner, who (1) works in another, but near-ish office, (2) is on the Executive Committee, and (3) has … Read More about How to Tell a Flirtatious Boss to Stop Hitting on You
2018 Update: We still think this is an interesting discussion of how to deal with offensive clients — but you may also want to check out our more recent discussion about the colleague who offered the reader’s firstborn to sweeten the deal. How do you deal with men at work making derisive comments about the … Read More about Offensive Clients: How to Deal
2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to deal at work when your dealing with miscarriage or fertility issues— links have also been updated below. How do you deal with a miscarriage at work? Reader K wonders… I don’t think you have done a post on having fertility issues while working (please … Read More about Should You Tell Your Coworkers About Your Miscarriage?
Reader C has a great question about sexism disguised as gentlemanly behavior: I am a woman in a male dominated field (architecture). Many times I am the only woman in a meeting. All of the guys shake hands upon introductions. When it’s my turn, they hesitate or give me a lame shake the tips of … Read More about The Gentlemanly Limp Hand