In survey feedback from our Women of HR readers, one of the leading topics of interest was the “good ole boys.” This is a fascinating topic to me.
I am raising a son and my sister is raising a daughter. They are 14 years old, one week apart in age and living proof of differences among genders. There is scientific proof as well. Why don’t we talk about gender differences in behavior, styles, communication, etc.?
Why don’t we speak about our common ground? Does it have more to do with fear than reality? Is it about comfort zones?
The reality is, a comfort zone is a comfort zone for men – and women – and there are many things we can do to create comfort zones.
What am I speaking of?
I am speaking of networking, communicating, and being clear about your goals.
Since the “good ole boys” have been gathering long before my time, were here, and still are here in much larger numbers in the C-suite than women, the ownership is on us to network and leverage our outstanding communication skills to help each other.
If you want to know where the “good ole girls” are, you really should not have to look too far in your own area for a network. If you do, then do what we did in Atlanta and start a network locally. We meet for dinner once a month and have a speaker. We share responsibilities to plan, coordinate, and drive executive membership. Our group has members from all industries in positions ranging from Director to C-level in finance, IT, HR, sales, general management and operations.
There are also external organizations that you may join. Women in Technology (WIT) and Board of Directors Network (BDN) are two in my home town that are exceptional women-led organizations. WIT promotes and supports the upward mobility of executive women in technology and BDN does the same for all executive women.
Once you network and find a path on the outside, bring what you learn back inside your organization and share it with your boss and peers. Invite them to share the experiences. This does not have to be solely discussed with women inside your firm. Any manager would benefit from understanding the dynamic of these organizations,and how to develop and foster these dialogues internally as the war to attract and retain talent is on – and it always will be.
Men and women do not always think the same.
If something is on your mind, you must communicate. Do not assume that if you work hard and do a great job you will get the dream job solely for that reason. Inside the “good ole boys” network they are speaking a language which may be foreign to women. Keep in mind that the “good ole boys” do not always even know that they are excluding women, they may assume the discussion is uninteresting to us or they are simply unaware.
Being Clear About Your Goals
Seek out trusted people inside your company of all cultures and both genders and be clear about your goals. I am assuming your goals are written down and top of mind?
One thing for sure, the “good ole boys” goals’ are.
Getting In the Zone
So, enough about the “good ole boys.”
Network, communicate, be clear about your goals and go out and create some comfort zones of your own.
Debbie is our Featured Contributor on LinkedIn. Come over to meet her and ask a few questions of your own.