Buzzfeed Video Reversing Workplace Gender Roles Shows Just How Difficult It Can Be To Work In A Male-Dominated Office
Being a woman in a male-dominated workplace often comes with some very particular challenges, ones that guys often don't understand. But what if you reversed the gender roles in a workplace? Would guys be able to appreciate the issue then? That's exactly the question the new Buzzfeed video "Being A Man In The Workplace" asks, and the resulting video is pretty awesome.
Women face all kinds of challenges in the workplace, from the big issues like sexual harassment or the gender pay gap to little things like being expected to clean up after meetings. Sometimes the problems are subtle, and sometimes they are not. But even the little things add up and can have a big impact on your career. Women can wind up getting pigeon-holed into one particular role, or we can find ourselves shut out of "casual" bonding activities that are also an informal mode of networking. A lot of workplace issues might seem small at the time, but they're things that men don't have to deal with, and they can have a big impact over the course of a career.
The problem of course is that they're often the result, not of overt sexism, but of tacit sexist assumptions that men in the workplace either don't think about or don't even realize are there. So trying to explain why things need to change is hard.
But what if you could show these problems happening not to women, but to men? After all, gender swapping can often make an important point more clearly and succinctly than a point by point explanation. So what if guys had to deal with, for instance...
Women are used to being outnumbered in a lot of workplaces, especially industries that are disproportionately male. But if you've never experienced it, it can be hard to explain why it's unsettling.
Stereotypical Assumptions About Their Interests
You don't like golf? But you look like the sort of person who would enjoy golf! Or at the very least you look like the only person in the office who might enjoy golf, so we just figured you'd be perfect for golf-related projects.
Getting Stuck With Errands
Why is it your job to go pick up the cake for the office party that no one else is doing anything for? Don't ask those questions.
Being Asked To Represent All Male Opinions
In general, if someone asks you if you can check something to make sure there's nothing offensive to your gender, chances are whatever they hand you will in fact contain something offensive. They will probably not want to hear this.
People Assuming You Couldn't Have Your Job
You just don't look like you'd have whatever relatively prestigious job you currently hold.
Getting interrupted is the worst.
And all the other delightful things that come with being a woman in the workplace... including the fact that "women in the workplace" is treated as a phenomenon, not a normal fact of life.
So what would it look like for guys to deal with? Something like this:
Images: Huffington Post