In short: men should be a little more like women. Women should be a little more like men. Let me explain before your imagination would take you to the ride of your life. 😉
Let’s start with my first claim, the men becoming more like women:
- Three most important things to focus on in the corporate world are people, people, and people. Relationships should always be your priority. Networking with the right people can get you very far. Lack of visibility, on the other hand, can stall the most promising careers.
- By default be polite to everybody regardless of their position and situation. Don’t burn bridges. Play the long game. The world is small. People talk. People move. People get promoted. Karma can hit you back one day in the most surprising way. Make sure it will be a gentle stroke rather than a kick in the hind parts.
- Work is important now, but health and family are for life.
That’s it mostly for the men becoming more like women. I’m not recommending chopping off any parts, wearing make-up and so on. Unless it’s your thing.
As for women, I wanted to tackle the gender pay gap, from my perspective as a manager who has been frequently involved with hiring, promoting, and salary revisions. My experience showed the following:
- Men demand salary increases frequently and aggressively (e.g. coming with an alternative job offer). Women don’t.
- Motherhood penalty is a fact. Companies don’t do this intentionally, it’s a side effect of the incentive scheme put in place for managers. Managers get quotas on raises and attrition goals. People on long-term leaves (such as women on maternity leave) don’t get raises. I’ve had once a woman in my team who’s had three maternity leaves and a very long track of sick leaves for children. She had the lowest salary of all my people, even though I maxed out the quota on her when I could. She missed too many salary revision windows during the booming market.
- Men are willing to change a company for a better salary or position. Women, not so much. Women are generally risk-averse and switching a job is quite risky. I personally know women that turned down a promotion. I don’t recall any men who did that. Business rewards taking risks.