We’re all aware of the sexist standards most women must face at work. However, that’s a hard pill for some people to swallow. Writer and comedienne Sarah Cooper laughs through the misogynistic pain in a series of brilliant comics, “Nine Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women,” and we love what she’s done.
In an interview with Almie Rose at ATTN, Sarah Cooper explained the genesis of her comic:
I was brainstorming for my next post and came across this headline I’d written down from The Onion: “Woman Quickly Cycles Through Non-Threatening Voice Inflections Before Expressing Concern,” which I thought was hilarious and subtly touched on how, in the corporate world, I often felt like I needed to change how I said something in order to not be perceived as too aggressive or pushy (even though the same actions from a man might not be perceived that way).
#1: Setting A Deadline
When setting a deadline, ask your coworker what he thinks of doing something, instead of just asking him to get it done. This makes him feel less like you’re telling them what to do and more like you care about his opinions.
#2: Sharing Your Ideas
When sharing your ideas, overconfidence is a killer. You don’t want your male coworkers to think you’re getting all uppity. Instead, downplay your ideas as just “thinking out loud,” “throwing something out there,” or sharing something “dumb,” “random,” or “crazy.”
#3: Emailing A Request
Pepper your emails with exclamation marks and emojis so you don’t come across as too clear or direct. Your lack of efficient communication will make you seem more approachable.
#4: Someone Steals Your Idea
If a male coworker steals your idea in a meeting, thank him for it. Give him kudos for how he explained your idea so clearly. And let’s face it, no one might’ve ever heard it if he hadn’t repeated it.
#5: Hearing A Sexist Comment
When you hear a sexist comment, the awkward laugh is key. Practice your awkward laugh at home, with your friends and family, and in the mirror. Make sure you sound truly delighted even as your soul is dying inside.
#6: When You Already Knew That
Men love explaining things. But when he’s explaining something and you already know that, it might be tempting to say “I already know that.” Instead, have him explain it to you over and over again. It will make him feel useful and will give you some time to think about out how to avoid him in the future.
#7: If You See A Mistake
Pointing out a mistake is always risky so it’s important to always apologize for noticing the mistake and then make sure that no one thinks you’re too sure about it. People will appreciate your “hey what do I know?!” sensibilities.
When collaborating with a man, type using only one finger. Skill and speed are very off-putting.
#9: When You Disagree
When all else fails, wear a mustache so everyone sees you as more man-like. This will cancel out any need to change your leadership style. In fact, you may even get a quick promotion!