Project Wonderful

Monday, November 28, 2011

Be A Man, Stop and Smell The Roses

From a feminist perspective, I didn't love everything about this article...particularly the implication that men have a better idea of what to expect in the workforce or the description of competitive women as "catty."

However, I did find the article's explanation of why women burn out faster than men intriguing.
These early career flameouts are reflected through the corporate ladder. Today, 53% of corporate entry-level jobs are held by women, a percentage that drops to 37% for mid-management roles and 26% for vice presidents and senior managers, according to McKinsey research. Men are twice as likely as women to advance at each career transition stage. One rationale is that men are more likely than women to do things that help their personal wellbeing at work, thus negating burnout, according to the Captivate Network. Men are 25% more likely to take breaks throughout the day for personal activities, 7% more likely to take a walk, 5% more likely to go out to lunch, and 35% more likely to take breaks “just to relax.
I would argue that women are less likely to take breaks because they are more concerned that people are "counting on them." One thing I've learned in Women in Power class is that when a head hunter calls a women who is already in a job one of her first questions is "what will they do without me here?" Men simply don't ask that. Women also have less free time because they are expected to have the same responsibilities as men in the workplace, while taking on greater responsibilities at home.

Whether or not you're a woman this article brings up a good point: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That is, sometimes its better to ask for an hour off (or give one to your organizers) so that you can get more out of the time you put in. This is a difficult concept in a business where we're taught time is our most valuable resource, but it is important to measure time in quality as well as quantity. That hour spent going to the gym or on the phone with your best friend, will make a difference later when you're not so burned out that you print the wrong call list or need to go on five coffee runs just to stay awake.

See? Women's wisdom comes in handy for everyone! (And for those of you with Y chromosomes, I promise not everything I write from now on will be gynocentric).


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