Women in Technology

Hear us Roar

  A Fifty Year Wave of Change
Subject:   Re: Disappointed
Date:   2007-09-05 07:48:01
From:   cwade
Response to: Disappointed

"You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" -- American Proverb

It's a temporary situation we're in today. Not to become a sloganeer, but "It's always darkest before the dawn" -- I don't think any one of us wants to tone down the delivery so closely connected to the feelings of near-violation and scandal that accompanies having the rug pulled from under us so many times. But to be truthful, gender aside, it's really difficult to tolerate opinions when they're being shoved down one's throat in a vitriolic fashion, no matter who we are.

It just so happens that the status quo has it that men are regarded less as blowhards, and more as assertive, when exhibiting this behavior. And likewise, women are slandered and maligned more openly for that behavior, than they are rewarded, even though I'm sure many individuals of both genders silently loathe a male blowhard as much as publicly slander a female one.

But I'll repeat it again, "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar," a scientifically proven hypothesis that, I think, can be a fitting analogy for our present social situation as women in technology. Not to mention, I feel pretty strongly (and personally) that, as a passionately opining human being, I usually benefit from dialing back my delivery somewhat, since it seems to inject a level of clarity and focus to an argument. Detachment, as a personal style, has worked tremendously for me as I've worked on it.

-- Carol Wade

Full Threads Oldest First

Showing messages 1 through 3 of 3.

  • Re: Disappointed
    2007-09-06 00:19:05  chromatic | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    I wouldn't exactly call it detachment, but some of the most successful people I've known in the world of technology have a very laid back delivery. That seems to contribute greatly to their efficacy.
    • Andy Oram photo Re: Disappointed
      2007-09-06 07:14:49  Andy Oram | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

      chromatic, the "laid-back" delivery works for someone who is already recognized as a leader in some way. I think the women who report being ignored are behaving appropriately and not being treated appropriately in return. I remember a smart programmer from Poland telling me that the way meetings were conducted in a company I was in made it difficult for foreigners with a modest command of English to participate. Foreigners him needed a little extra time to formulate what they wanted to say, and by the time he did so the conversation had rushed on. (This may also be a Northeast Coast US phenomenon.) I think we all need to be open to everyone with ideas. As a lot of the business writers tell us in popular books, the idea that will propell your organization is likely to come from someone you don't expect.
      • Re: Disappointed
        2007-09-07 21:59:39  chromatic | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

        Andy, I'm certainly not suggesting that being laid back is appropriate for everyone. Your point that people who are already successful can speak softly and carry a lot of weight is a good one.