There aren’t as many women in senior management as there are men, we don’t earn as much as they do or make as many decisions. Should we, then, cut our hair short, bind our breasts and wear men’s suits to win in the workplace? The Play to Win review in Daily News:
THE private sector pay gap in South Africa is 35.5%, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report of October 2013.
Essentially, this means women earn in a year what men earn in eight months.
We’re also only a quarter of top decision makers in South African business, according to the Grant Thornton International Business Report 2014.
In her book, Play to Win, What Women can learn from Men in Business, author and businesswoman Donna Rachelson highlights the statistics we’ve all come to know so well.
Rachelson makes a point we’d rather not hear, which is: it’s a man’s world. Men surely have a lot to learn from women – we’re emotionally intelligent, great at building relationships, compassionate and driven.
But to beat our counterparts we need to know what it is they’re doing to stay ahead of us.
This is not to say that you should act like a man, only that it helps to understand how they think and play the game.
- For men, business is a game.You need to treat it as one too. The basic play is that you strategise to make money. It’s like playing Monopoly. You’ve got to let it go – don’t take it all so seriously.
Business is about leveraging and assembling the right team and understanding the business model so that you can implement the strategy and make money.
And then it becomes fun.
- Women are judged on their personality, be it: “abrasive”, “judgemental” or “strident”, while men are judged on their competence. So while it may be true that women take criticism more personally – probably because we’re socialised to be people pleasers, and to keep the peace – we often bear the brunt of more personal criticism.
The trick is in identifying the difference between criticism of your work – genuine feedback on what you do – and criticism of who you are. Always deal with the behaviour (as it applies to work), rather than the person.
You can buy your copy of Play to Win: What women can learn from men in business by Donna Rachelson here.