Women continue to behave under the woefully erroneous belief that they must look, act, and dress as closely as possible to men to be considered equal. Ladies, you will never be us. We like you feminine, not man-like. Knock it off. Being equal to men does not mean actually being a man.
One in four women dress in a more masculine way – discarding high heels and dresses for trouser suits – acting under the belief they should look like their male colleagues to be treated seriously. A further quarter wear less make-up at work, partly to dispel the notion that all women must ‘look pretty’, the survey of 2,000 working women showed.
Half hide their true emotions – with two fifths admitting to having left the office to cry – while a fifth believe they need to act ruthlessly to be respected at work. A small number, one in 20, actively mirror the behaviour of male colleagues
The research, by telecommunications firm O2, suggested the lack of female role models at the top of business was partly to blame for why so many women felt the need to look or act like their male colleagues to succeed. One in 10 women said there are no females in senior positions at their company, with 42 per cent said senior women act like alpha females to get ahead – “a fact that is leading many women to assume more traditionally ‘male’ characteristics in order to be successful”, according to the study.
Ann Pickering, O2’s UK human resources director, said: “While businesses today have come a long way from the offices of Mad Men, the reality is that many modern women are still feeling the pressure to conform to outdated stereotypes.
“Having a truly diverse workforce – one in which all employees are encouraged to act and behave as themselves – is not just about what is proper and fair, it also makes complete business sense.”