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This one's for the girls

New to Bravado and new to working in a corporate job alongside men. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it's true. I have 10+ years of working experience and somehow have not worked on a team with men until recently. I went to an all women's college, have a degree in Fashion Marketing and after working years in retail (with women), I joined a medical device company with an office of all women for almost 5 years.


I've found myself in a bit of a pickle. I'm now part of a wonderful organization, with a mission I love. The thing is, I've never been more aware of being a woman. I notice how differently men are addressed, how men speak to me vs. other men, and how some women get ahead based on their behavior. You can call me naïve, especially since I have like no experience working with men, that's fine. But, is this just how things are? Is this what all of the articles on LinkedIn are talking about? Do I need to work for a company with women in leadership? Should I just quit and be a housewife?


Kidding (kind of).


This is by no means a knock against men - I know there are good ones out there. I'm married to one, work with a couple, and have two of the best bro's.


And don't get me wrong, I know how fortunate I am. I am a white girl in workplace, I know there's a difference. I'm not that naïve and I'm not trying to complain. I can't imagine what some people go through dealing with adversity. But, being a "girl's girl" in this corporate world, I'm just looking for some insight, advice or anyone going through something similar. Are there companies out there that have a truly equal corporate culture?


Looking for best practices, book suggestions, people to follow, companies that are killing it with promoting this culture, etc.


Let me know your thoughts!

-RHOB


🧠 Advice
🤠 Culture
🏰 War Stories
19
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Hi. My name is incognito and I work in a predominantly sexist male industry. Insurance and construction - can’t get more Bro like than that.

IF you want to make it work in this firm, you gotta channel your inner bitch. Don’t EVER back down. You need to set your reputation early, so they respect you as an equal. Call them out immediately on bullshit, no exceptions. If they know that you’re direct and call it how it is, you will earn their respect as much as any man. MAKE them see past your gender and listen to what you have to say. 

That being said, it sounds like your firm sucks ass. If you have an opportunity to go elsewhere, it’s probably a good idea. However, this is sales. You’re gonna run into again at some point. Use this position as a learning experience to deal with douchebags in the future. 
babby816
Fire Starter
+2
Sales Manager
YES!! ^^ All day, everyday! I worked in the auto industry for 7 years so I know soooooo much how this is. I actually love and enjoy the locker room atmosphere, it seems more honest and transparent. I had conversations with all of my peers and leaders no differently than my male counterparts. It did take time to build this trust and respect, but men also have to put work in this area as well. Own your shit, and don't let them fool you. You're there for a reason, now go and show em! 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
Oh Cogs this meme kills me 🥂
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
As a male this probably isn't my place to give advice so Ill leave that to others. However the type of behavior you outline isn't normal/shouldn't be tolerated by anyone. 

It sounds like you have leaders in your company that should not be in that place and can't build a working culture where everyone can thrive based on merrit. I would start looking for another org that doesn't have their head all of the way up their asshole. 
InQ5WeTrust
Arsonist
+9
Sales Savages, what is our profession? Trauma!
AssySassy summed it up well. 

Sounds like you've unfortunately wound up at a crappy shop, time to start hunting for a better place. 
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
Agree. It’s crazy though because my
company definitely seems like a “dream company” to some. Monster growth, amazing benefits, tons of perks, an “amazing culture” lol and 100% remote. I feel silly wanting to leave, but it totally doesn’t feel right. It feels good to be validated though 🙏🏼
Show 3 more replies
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
Well said! I appreciate you. And happy to take advice/insight from anyone, I think a male perspective is necessary for sure. 
Thanks!
funcoupons
WR Officer
+12
that's queen coups to u
Welcome! You touched on a lot of different things, so just trying to get to the root of this post so I don't write a damn novel.

What exactly are you struggling with when it comes to working with men? Do you feel you're being given less opportunity or less respect because you're female?
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
Thank you!! haha a few things I guess (and apologies for my actual novel). There are specific men in leadership in company that talk differently to women as a whole (talk down, change tone) and reward some women based on how they behave (acting dumb, leading with sexuality, etc).

I think what I'm struggling with, is that I'm not taken seriously. I feel like I can't be myself without being doubted. I don't want to lead with sexuality, I have good ideas and I know I can sell.

A couple of examples: I've been mocked by a VP who thought he was on mute and told by my manager (who's a woman) that she suggested flirting to help another coworker get an answer. 
funcoupons
WR Officer
+12
that's queen coups to u
That is not normal or to be expected behaviour in working with men (or anyone) whatsoever. These are unprofessional and sexist people and their corresponding behaviour.

You're right - this is not a good environment to be in. It's time to start looking for a new opportunity. 

When it comes to finding a better fit, I don't have a perfect answer.  One might suggest looking for companies that have women in management or an even split of male/female reps but I personally don't think that's a foolproof indicator. One -  because salespeople heavily skew male and even companies that strive to hire/promote women often find it difficult simply because not enough women go into sales. Two - because as you mentioned, women can contribute to sexist and hostile environments toward other women just like men can. Overall, when interviewing, pay close attention to how the interviewers treat you as a candidate, and how they interact with each other in a panel/group setting. When considering a role, reach out to someone in the company currently doing your job (preferably a woman and preferably off the record using LinkedIn/cell phone,) and ask them their opinion of the company's culture/leadership etc. Glassdoor can be a great resource as well. 

My advice to you is to know that the grand majority of male leaders and companies would not tolerate this kind of shit and you deserve to work at a place where people treat each other with respect. 
Show 5 more replies
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
Agree. It’s crazy though because my
company definitely seems like a “dream company” to some. Monster growth, amazing benefits, tons of perks, an “amazing culture” lol and 100% remote. I feel silly wanting to leave, but it totally doesn’t feel right. It feels good to be validated though 🙏🏼
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
Its "easy" for companies to put up that front but its not always the case. Their growth doesnt always equal your growth and proper work opportunity. Find a place you feel like you can thrive, not be forced to flirt your way to your goals. fuck that. 
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
Feels like a bad break up tbh, like giving my best and putting my all into something, so much time, energy, etc. but totally needed to hear that! Just need to focus on how this has helped me grow and on 👏🏼 to 👏🏼 the 👏🏼 next 👏🏼
Show 1 more replies
CharmingSalesGal
Politicker
+8
Account Executive
Hello fellow female savage!!!

As an outspoken woman, I feel you on this post and I'm here to tell you, NO this isn't "just how it is." I'm sorry that it sounds like you work with some assholes- have you ever addressed any of them directly?

I know that can sound scary, especially being at a new company or industry in general, but I've found that's what's worked best for me. Rest assured, I haven't always been seen as a "threat" in the corporate world, but since the beginning of my time, I've learned "how to play the game" for lack of any better phrasing.

But playing the game as a woman is a very beautiful thing- fine crafted, strategic, and downright genius. It's all about knowing when to address issues and how to eloquently use your words. I learned this by simply listening to badass women- some personal experience and sometimes through podcasts and such (Nicole Lapin will always be among my favorites). I've experienced many negative (and frankly untrue) comments from men about women being hormonal and that was honestly my biggest hurdle because I had to learn how to avoid physically strangling them but doing so in an emotional way that will haunt them for hopefully decades.

For starters, I would suggest journaling- it will help you collect all of your thoughts and get out any well-deserved but NSFW anger. Then, I'd connect with powerful women in general- get a mentor, read their books, engage with their social medias, understand who they are and why they're a badass- they got there somehow (and I'd venture to say had some similar situations happen to them).

It's a journey and here is my novel but you can and will get through this- with or without this company. ❤️
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
Can we be friends? Loved the Nicole Lapin podcast. Thank you so much for the advice. I hate that we have to play the game, but you’re completely right. And I’ve said something about the fact that we only talk about sports, but aside from that I haven’t stood up for myself enough.
CharmingSalesGal
Politicker
+8
Account Executive
@realhousewifeofbravado We can absolutely be friends! I'd also say that if sports aren't your thing, start asking them about things you do enjoy and eventually I've found they stop talking about sports as much because they realize you don't care. 😂
Show 1 more replies
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
BRAVADOS!!!! so I’m deep in looking for a new job 🤞🏼 BUT I talked to our HR today was completely honest, composed, confident and clear. I have never been so proud of myself. I could not have done it without you all!! #letstakeover
dwightyouignorantsale
Politicker
+7
Manager, Sales
I feel this all too well. I am the only woman sales rep in my company….globally.
My colleagues are all very friendly and helpful, but they do talk to each other differently than how they talk to me. Pre-Covid, they would often go on lunches and not ask me to come with (if they wanted a “boys lunch”). If they did ask me, then they would often make remarks that they felt the need to apologize to me for right after saying or just talk about sports the whole time. You tend to feel like you’re on your own island.
The only advice I can really give is to be your own advocate and stand up for yourself. There were times I called people out for stuff that I typically wouldn’t have done, or being quick to give them back what they put out. Be firm in your position and who you are and that’s the best I can advise!
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
That’s great advice and definitely what I’m now looking for in a role. Somewhere I can be taken seriously while being myself. I’m sorry you feel this all too well. We have to stick together. Let’s take over the world 👏🏼
dwightyouignorantsale
Politicker
+7
Manager, Sales
heck frickin yes!! 👏🏼
aiko
Politicker
+9
Sr. Account Executive
Nice to meet you @realhousewifeofbravado.

I've noticed this far too much in my early stages of my career. I'm fortunate that my current company has an equal distribution of male and female leaders, but I can't help but see how men are treated/talked to differently. 

My dad has taught me that the best way to form respect, is to learn and master something that other people on your team do not know. This creates an easy avenue for people to lean on you for certain trainings and questions, and respect will follow. 

After reading the comments, it still does not sound like a healthy environment, but if you want to stick it out, you might be able to address some of these concerns with new people being hired. 
countingmyinterest
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
I'm a dude, but some of my women colleagues have faced some hardships in a sales environment. 

Some stuff includes: 
-Not being taken seriously as an AE/BDR
-Being asked out on a cold call (seriously happened on a team meeting)
-Assuming there's a male DM

you should DEF speak up and stand up for yourself. My org has a lot of women in exec positions and wouldl never stand for that shit. 
Jbeans
Praised Answer
+3
Director of Sales
I run a team of all men. Most of my customers are men.  Be yourself. Be brave. Speak your mind. Don’t back down. Be the bad ass bitch you want to be. When I am faced with the bro squad? That I love and adore yet at the same time I want to punch them in the nuts? I call them out on their shit. I have sexist clients, who have made inappropriate comments to me about either my looks or how can I possibly be smart. It’s laughable. All the way to the bank. Don’t let it get you down. Keep doing you! I found having a makeshift “support” group of other high performing females really helps. Is that possible for you? There’s some great ones to even follow if you don’t have other females working along side you or friends in similar conditions. I don’t pretend to give a Fack about hockey or golf to fit in. I’m here to win and raise a team of high performers. 🙌🏻 Good luck. Keep your head about you . You got this!! 
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
Thank you! Unfortunately I don’t have a ton of “proof” besides my word. I am meeting with HR tomorrow though and am definitely bringing up concerns. Lesson learned - hopefully I won’t run into it this bad again. But now I’m prepared and know what to look for on the front end!
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
And I so appreciate it. I’m just definitely out!
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
Thank you all so much!!
realhousewifeofbravado
Catalyst
+4
the realest
I’m not sure if anyone will get notified of this but I’m happy to say I accepted a new job yesterday!! So so happy. Thank you all. Happy Thanksgiving!!
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