ILCA Women’s Networking Group

What’s a Guy / Gal to do? by corumkeller
July 6, 2010, 5:39 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

By Christa Orum-Keller

Recently, I was engaged in a conversation where a male colleague was asking female colleagues what he ought do and ought not do, in his work interactions with women in work situations.  There were questions and situations described, for which I didn’t have answers and of course there were those shades of grey…

So I thought, why not ask the experts – all of YOU!

I’ll just get things going with a few questions, but I would be delighted if there were many comments with lots of information to share…

  • What terms should and should not be used to describe female work colleagues?  For example:  female, women, lady, girl, gal, etc.
  • Does the acceptability of the term differ if it is used by a woman vs. a man?
  • What’s OK for a woman to say but NOT OK for a man to say at work?
  • What about manners?  Can a male colleague open the door for you?  Pull out your chair at a restaurant?  What about handshakes / hugs / greetings – what’s OK and what’s not?
  • Business meals – if you’re dining with a man, does the server inevitably bring the check to him?  If you are the one paying the bill, how do you maneuver the false assumption with the server?  What’s the man to do in the situation?
  • If the male co-worker is of a more senior generation, do we give him some slack?  Or are our expectations for enlightenment equal no matter what age the person has?
  • What if a woman says something offensive toward women in the workplace?  How do you deal with that?  How does a male colleague deal with this situation?  Say something or leave it alone?

These are just a few small examples.  Maybe you have more comments, questions or situations to throw out that others can comment on.

Let the information sharing begin!  Thanks!


1 Comment so far
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Krista, some very thought provoking questions! I believe as long as there is respect in the action and or communication both men and women can be at ease. Being treated as a professional and seen as an individual is most important!

Comment by kathywicks2215

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