As a woman in a the male-dominated field of social gaming, I often find myself struggling with my identity. I tend to be more emotional and compassionate than my male counterparts who tend to be strictly competitive. However, I’m seeing data that describes women’s friendliness as having an economic price for them:
One of the interesting conclusions was that friendly women pay an economic price because by demonstrating warmth signals they are seen as less competitive and self-interested.
So what does this mean? Trying to be my natural self might be costing me in the long run? Should I stop being friendly and start being just one of the guys? I mean – I do want to be one of the guys. However, I’m also reading this is bad too!
women who violate gendered expectations incur negative social consequences. In other words, evaluators tend to make negative judgments about women who behave in masculine ways to fulfill the needs of their jobs.
Yikes! So what’s a girl to do?!? As it turns out, there are studies suggesting women should take a different stance – they should use their sex to their advantage by being flirty to increase their negotiation skills at work:
What?! So I have to flirt in order to be successful? As dirty as this feels – I can certainly see where this is coming from. Outside of the workplace, I’ve been offered ‘extras’ by men without even flirting at all. Get your head of of the sand! I’m talking about things like extra slices of meat at a sandwich shop, drinks at a bar and of course free entry to dance clubs. The articles point to the fact that women who are flirtatious in negotiations actually come off more confident. I already know I’m confident… but do others perceive me to be that way?
Even still, there are people in the opposite camp who suggest flirting is bad for a woman’s career and there are those who urge women to be careful not to go too far:
In fact, Laura Kray, the woman who conducted this study shares her thoughts:
Kray acknowledges that to be overtly sexual is demeaning and can have negative professional consequences. But she argues that there are “shades of grey” to the approach.
As the book goes, there are fifty shades of grey. It’ll take some time to wrap my head around this one!