Working with a Bunch of Dudes — A Female Perspective
14 to 6 — the ratio of men to women at Cheeky Monkey Media. 11 to 3 — the ratio of men to women in the particular office I work in. These ratios are very common in tech. It is no secret that the industry is male dominated. It is hard to find quality employees, no matter the sex, in any industry, but when it comes to technology it is a simple fact that there are more males than females in the work force. It is not good, it is not bad, it is just the way it is. The exciting part? More and more women are entering the field. Girl power! The female perspective paired with the male outlook will provide tremendous value to the industry as a whole. Diversity and collaboration for the win!
Insight into a Male Dominant Industry
This blog post is not meant to be a feminist piece. I am simply stating the facts and giving insight into my experience in a male dominant industry. As more women begin to work in tech these ratios will begin to balance out, but until then women entering the field will be working with lots of men. So, from my 7+ months working with a bunch of dudes (and I have thoroughly enjoyed the time), here is what I have noticed and experienced:
Men are a Bunch of Goof Balls
Girls aren’t the only ones who want to have fun. Men are a bunch of goof balls. They want to joke (yes, there are many poop jokes), play and laugh. It is quite refreshing, actually and makes for a fantastic work environment.
That Extra Push to do Better
Friendly competition is the name of the game. The guys I work with are always pushing everyone around them and themselves to do better in and out of the office (of course this is not a male-only trait, but I have experienced an abundance of healthy competition since being surrounded by males). As I am a very sensitive person, it took me a bit of time to get used to this constant push. Men won’t tell you everything you’re doing is perfect. There is always room to grow and improve, and these guys don’t lose sight of that. I’ve learned to love this.
If You Need Space
When you have an off day no one is going to bombard you with questions. Men will let you have a day to yourself and not bury you with the “are you okay?’s”. You will get the space you want so that you can do your job in peace. Thanks, guys.
There are no Secrets
If there is ever a problem with attitude, performance, or anything personal, it will be dealt with honestly and quickly. When a guy has an issue with someone, work related or not, he will tell them. There are no secrets. Coming from a serving background where the majority of the staff was female, this was new to me. Ladies, men don’t gossip, don’t want anything to do with gossip, and don’t have a problem telling you do deal with your issues on your own.
Just Figure it Out
Complaining and excuses are a big no. Seriously, don’t even try it. The guys will shut me and anyone else right down if a statement starts with “I can’t”, “But…”, or any other iteration of an excuse. There will be no sympathy. Like monkey boss would say, “figure it out”. Such a valuable lesson.
If you want to be heard, speak up. Guys aren’t going to ask everyone in the room, one by one, what they think and how they feel. If you have a great idea, a question, or concern say it and don’t wait. They will appreciate it tremendously and value what you have to share. Don’t expect someone to come to you, cause it may never happen.
Men are only Human
Men have feelings too. Yeah, I know, I’m ratting out all of you. Guys get sad, upset, and their feelings get hurt. They are humans. One of my favorite things about working where I do is listening to the guys talk about their kids, spouses, parents, and friends. They are sweet and compassionate — far from intimidating. These traits make them a great bunch to work with.
I know for some it can be intimidating walking into an office full of the opposite gender. You may feel like they won’t welcome you, befriend you, and treat you like an insider. From experience, I can tell you that is so far from the truth. Men are just as excited to have women enter the industry as we are to enter it.
I am really excited to see how the industry transforms as more and more females are welcomed into the already wonderful atmosphere the males have crafted for the tech world.
Thanks for reading,