When You're a Working Woman Among Many Men

Do women have to put a whole lot of extra effort into holding their own in a man's world?

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This is, to be sure, 2008--Hillary Clinton is expected to replace Condoleezza Rice and Katie Couric hosts the evening news. But while female leaders/executives may be more commonplace today than they were in the past, they are often still working mostly among men. (The same goes for some women among the rank-and-file.)

The Wall Street Journal has a piece today on "ways women can hold their own" and "navigate a mostly male office." It's a bit strange to read the suggestions, such as erasing tentative-sounding vocabulary and avoiding sentences that start with "I think"; separating the alpha and beta males for separate kinds of treatment; even organizing your own work events if you're left out of the all-male social hour.   

The truth is, it sounds exhausting.

The work on your desk is often tiring enough. I'm curious to know whether women out there really feel like they have to put this much effort into holding their own in male-dominated workplaces. Please share your thoughts in the comments: Is this extra work a reality for you?

(I've had the fortune of working in pretty balanced offices where most of the leaders were male, but my peers were well-mixed, so I really don't know what it's like.)


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