Still working on the idea of how it is to be a girl in tech – as opposed to a boy in tech. And I recently realized that one of my trick to find my way, and the right attitude in that ecosystem, dominated by men, was to actually ‘think like a man’. This is what I am doing when I am facing a decision making balancing private and professional life, or when I need to think my relation to the power, ask something to someone – specially when it is a man.
Let me explain, with a little exercise.
You have a agenda conflict, between an important meeting and the party of a relative. Whatever is your decision, before announcing it to the people you decided not to honour with your presence, put yourself in the shoes of a man you like. Let’s call that man, Roger. Roger has to be someone you respect, someone you believe has the right behavior at work or in private, someone you believe is balanced and fair with others. Note : if you feel that you are usually too sweet, you can try to find your Roger into the large fleet of assholes you meet everyday, but this is only recommended for benchmark purpose. So, you have your Roger. Now, try during 5 seconds to think the way he would handle the situation. And think what is the gap between your natural way to announce you will not be present to the party/meeting/wedding…
I don’t know how would react your Roger. But my Roger would say : “Look, I am sorry honey/boss/colleague/lover/grandma but I can’t make it. Another day would be more appropriate for me”. Dot. Dot. And not “I-am-telling-you-everything-about-my-woman-mother-life”. This trick is working very well in various situations. You are requested by MissesPerferctMother to prepare some cakes for you kid’s school party (and you can’t or you don’t want). You don’t want to have lunch with your colleagues, cause you wanna be alone. You want to go out and have several mojitos with your friends instead of staying at home (and now you love me, because your life is going to change)…
Disclaimer one. This trick is a trick. You should not become Roger (or marry him, or whatever). This is just a mimetic exercise to help you to change your mindset, try to endorse a man attitude. Measure the gap. But you will have to find your own style in the end.
Disclaimer two. This post is not about demonstrating how bad men are. This post is about demonstrating that you guys, have a terrific relaxing way to manage priorities and make your point. And that girls should learn from you.
Disclaimer three. Some men told me that they were actually heavy at work, claiming that they were proud to be father and put high priority on their family and leisure. Thus they felt my post was not relevant. I would say that only few of them can dare to do that, and bravo ! (maybe they had a female version of Roger…).
Disclaimer four. This post talks about ‘girl’ at work. Amy commented why she prefers to be named woman (or dame, or lady). And I think she is right. I can only encourage you to read her view below.
Now, ladies, choose your(s) Roger(s), and let me know how it feels..