Careers

Advice for Women in Mostly Male Offices: Be Assertive, Not Servile


Women working in male-dominated offices need to speak assertively and refrain from appearing servile, experts say.

Women shouldn’t begin phrases with “I think” and shouldn’t apologize when they do nothing wrong, experts told the Wall Street Journal. They should be direct, confident and remove “traces of tentativeness” from their speech.

Women may want to alter their communications style based on whether they are dealing with alpha males, who have a “get it done” attitude, and beta males, who emphasize collaboration. Women should use goal-oriented language when speaking to an alpha male and more collaborative words when speaking to a beta male, one expert advised.

The article also advises women to refrain from stereotypical roles that make them appear servile—and that includes tasks such as cleaning up or bringing coffee to meetings.

It also says women should look for a female mentor and socialize with male workers.

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