Combatting BMOC Syndrome

Being a woman working in a career-field dominated by men, I’ve run into countless men afflicted with BMOC Syndrome. Usually the first warning sign that a male colleague has contracted the syndrome is the aggressive declaration “I want to be in charge” accompanied by the look and body

Everything I Needed to Know About Bullying I Learned in First Grade

If you haven’t figured it out from reading my articles, I believe in women standing up for themselves.  I believe women can stand up to anybody and to institutional power.  After thinking about why I feel so strongly about this, I realized I learned this powerful lesson in the first g

It Isn’t Always About Power

The current narrative says that all  unwanted sexual attention and harassment is based in power.  It isn’t. Sometimes it is simply about sex. I’ve never had unwanted attention from or been sexually harassed or abused by any man I work for.  One senior manager may have wanted to but I

From #MeToo to Action

After reading an article I got in a comment battle with another woman over how women should respond to sexual harassment and assault.  She was very focused on offering empathy and sitting up all night with a woman who has been hurt.  To her offering empathy and understanding is what e

How Women Should Navigate the Drinking Culture

There are some industry cultures that endorse a drinking culture – frequently getting together after work to drink. Coming from one such industry I understand how it normalizes alcoholism and creates problems for women. Many women and women’s organization encourage women to participat

There Was a Time When Men Were Gentlemen in the Workplace

We have a lot of impressions of what the professional office was like in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  But our impressions probably miss one important characteristic – its civility. When I began working in 1982 I was the first female engineer in a very traditional office.  Men were engineer

Have the Right Attitude to Stand Up for Yourself

When women experience inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination in the workplace, we have a lot of reactions – shock, anger, resentment, fear.  Our mix of emotions creates confusion as we try to figure out what we should do about it. We want to hit the righ

Women Can Lead Men Through Culture Change

Construction sites have a reputation for crude behavior and the women who work on them can face behavior seldom found in other workplaces. This situation keeps most women away from the industry and those that do enter it often opt for support jobs in the office. Those of us who do ven

You Wanted It, You Got It!

Several years ago I was working on a project where some senior male managers didn’t want a woman in charge.  They wanted to prove that anything I could do, a man could do better. This was a particularly difficult project and men lasted about 2 months.  So every 2 months, I was back in

She Should Have Stood Up For Herself

Recently I read an article in which a woman wrote about her experience interviewing for a new job.   She did all the research on the job and knew how much she should be paid.  During the interview, the men who interviewed her offered her 30% less than she expected and said it was beca

How to Change Sexist Perceptions

I read a lot of articles about women in the workplace and it seems we are fixated on identifying every slight, bad comment and bit of poor behavior. I’ve been told many times that the intent is generate awareness of sexual biases in the workplace and let women know what they are facin

The Important Thing Women Still Don’t Do When Sexually Harassed

Sexual harassment is back in the headlines.  And it is pretty much a repeat of what happens every time the issue is raised.  There is a lot of sensational media drama as the story swirls around pitting her word against his.  Without witnesses or proof there is no resolution and no acc

Should You Leave Your Job After Being Sexually Harassed?

Should a woman quit her job after being sexually harassed? Recently Trump stirred up some media controversy when he said that if his daughter Ivanka was sexually harassed at work “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.” This o

How To Get Justice When You Are Wronged

We experience a wrong-doing at work.  It upsets us.  We want justice.  We want management to be just as outraged and upset as us but they aren’t.  They just make it to go away.  This makes us even angrier that this is how the system works.  It isn’t fair. We have all been there – expe

Do Women Self-Discriminate?

Recently I read a comment in a post: “Women want to be treated the same as men except when they want to be treated differently.” Then I did a double take – the comment was written by a woman and had over 10,000 Likes.  Wow! I couldn’t help but wonder what experiences 10,000 people had

Why Women Are Mean to Other Women In the Workplace?

We want to think of women as caring and we hope their presence makes the workplace a more cooperative environment.  As one of my female traits I list that women work in groups and we assume that their groups are cooperative and supportive.  While we want to associate women with positi

Speaking from a Female Perspective Isn’t Sexist

I read a post from a male friend on facebook who was upset over Carly Fiorina quoting Margret Thatcher during the Republican debate: “If you want something talked about, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” He was angry at her for both saying it and thinking it. He

How Your Male Co-Workers View Your Availability

Last week Meghan Casserly of Forbes published an article – Every Man You Work With Thinks You Want to Sleep With Him. This article raised some eyebrows. Is this true? Do the men we work with look at us sexually even though we have platonic relationships? And is it true that it doe

How To Respond To An Inappropriate Comment

A reader wrote to me about a job interview in which the male interviewers made inappropriate comments. It brings up the question – what should we do in this situation? Our initial instinct is to get angry and tell them off but more often than not we don’t call them on it a

High Heels

I was working at an on-site construction office and I kept hearing rumors that I wore high heels to work.  I had 2 pairs I wore, one black and one brown.  To me they were  boring 2″ heels and definately not sexy.  They were “office shoes.”  If I went out on site, I h