Why Gender Tension On The Job Is Pointless

  A female executive at an Advertising Agency decries her gender discriminating bully boss.
 “My male boss is just so chauvinistic, it is unreal.  How can he keep on referring to the fact that there are certain jobs I can handle, and more or less refer to my, what he calls, ‘gender weakness’. One of these days I think I am going to challenge him to a physical combat and then we know who the weaker sex is.  No seriously I mean it.  He is getting on my nerves, you know and…”

O.K. we get the message.

Like many people nowadays you’re getting tired from the gender wars. You are ready to hang on to any small supporting evidence that one day men and women will be able to cohabit peacefully on this planet earth. Research findings on gender performance on the job offer a glimmer of hope.  A team of psychologists discovered that when confronted with stress in the workplace, men and women actually use similar coping strategies. However the coping strategies are determined by type of stress situation.

In the face of interpersonal stress, both men and women made more attempts aggressively to alter the situation using ‘confrontive coping’ to control their emotions. Also when experiencing task related stress, both men and women are equally likely to analyse and change the situation, using ‘planful problem solving’. The researchers concluded that in situations where there are differences in coping mechanisms with job related stress, this is due to the nature of the job, not the gender. 

Gone are those days when gender played a determining factor in position placements. Today men and women are thrown together on the job, sharing the workplace in equal numbers and, more frequently, as professional colleagues. Work is becoming a major place to interact expertly as men and women share daily the emotional and physical proximity of working side by side, the motivation to handle job task, the powerful desires for accomplishment, and abhorrence for failure.

Consequently, the scenario is changing to merit and ability to cope with the demands of the job, and not a gender issue.  It is accepted that physical prowess belongs to the men, God has given them that superiority, however when it comes to brain function, gender difference becomes indistinct.  Irrespective of the fact that women are emotional and can burst into tears any minute, who says men don’t cry when the heat gets unbearable. The point is that it doesn’t matter what strategies either sex adopt in solving problems, it’s the result that counts at the end. So let’s forget the ‘Women are from Venus, Men from Mars’ when it comes to problem solving under stressful situations.  There. Done. I feel much better.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons.


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