HOW TO SURVIVE as a woman in a
(and vice versa)
For all we’d like the world to be a fair place, in some jobs not all genders are created
equal and you have to fight like hell if you happen to be the minority. Here’s how.
1 Be good at your job. Personality clashes
arise irrespective of the gender of you and
your boss. Your boss may just not like you very
much, or be a total pig to everyone. Doing your
job well in a way
only you can is
the best way to
rise above this.
2 Relish being the outsider. You’re in a unique
position and don’t need to try that hard to
cultivate a distinctive identity, so turn yourself
into the go-to person for things only you can
3 Be aware of your office’s
views on commitment and
productivity. Some value
presenteeism (putting in the
hours, and making sure your
boss and colleagues see you
doing so). Others prefer social
players (those who get stuck
into extra-curricular activities).
4 Don’t be a pretender. Just because you roar along with the office banter, go to the socials and
ingratiate yourself as one of the ‘lads’/‘girls’, you’re not fooling anyone. People who behave counter-
stereotypically can experience a backlash. Authenticity is key.
5 Find a mentor at work. Somebody who will
teach you how to manage difficult situations
and who will bring new opportunities your way.
They don’t have to be of the same sex as you,
but it might help.
6 Get loud. Once your position in the team is
cemented, shout. Not in a petulant or autocratic
way – but make sure your ideas are heard. Be
vocal in meetings or book time with your boss
to debate concerns and offer solutions. You’ll be
in the power seat before you know it.