Be the waffle, not the pancake : CAREER

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(This post originally appeared in my Careerist column in the Jacksonville Business Journal.)

I just checked my calendar and yes it is still the 21stst Century. But you would never know that if you read the Power Presence Purpose training offered to female employees at EY (formerly Ernst & Young). The last time the 55-page training was held was in 2018, and the company was heavily denied that it was as condescending and Mad Men-esque as the published excerpts sound like.

You decide. Here are some highlights.

EY commissioned an external (female) consultant to develop the training, which “should show promising women at EY how they can expand their networks, negotiate and build stronger, more powerful teams”. The first task was a “Masculine / Feminine Score Sheet”, with which women can judge for themselves how they present themselves inside and outside the office. The male characteristics included “Acts as a Leader”, “Ambitious”, “Independent”, “Strong Personality” and “Willing to Standing”. The feminine characteristics included “Loving”, “Happy”, “Childlike”, “Compassionate”, “Gullible”, “Loves Children”, “Quietly Spoken” and “Affectionate”.

It is possible that the consultant thought of these terms as stereotypes for the fight. But a trainee (who asked to remain anonymous in the Huffpost article I read) said she took the list at face value. The trainer stated that women would be punished by both men and women if they got lost in male behavior. The picture of the music sheet does not look ironic. If you have to take a short break from reading now, I understand. Come back after you leave it (or scream it out if you’re a woman)

Another helpful rule: don’t flaunt your body. “Sexuality confuses the mind (for men and women).” The anonymous EY participant also shared some of her notes from the training on how not to appear too menacing to men. “Do not confront men directly in meetings because men perceive this as threatening. (Women do not.) Instead, meet before (or after) the meeting.” “When talking to a man, cross your legs and sit down You obliquely to him. Don’t talk to a man face to face. Men see this as threatening. “

The document also advises women not to speak too short in meetings (a man will “speak long because he really believes in his idea”). They are also warned of “rambling and missing the point” and helpful asked to “practice writing down their thoughts.” “

To be fair, according to training, it is our brain differences that make it so difficult for us women to stay on the right path. “Women’s brains absorb information on how to soak up pancake syrup, making it difficult for them to concentrate. Men’s brains are more like waffles. You can concentrate better because the information accumulates on every small square of waffles.”

As with many companies in the financial sector, not many women are represented in the highest ranks at EY. Overall, according to the company’s reporting from 2018, only 20.4% of EY’s partners and clients are women. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal said, “Although women and men join the workforce in roughly the same number, men are almost 2 to 1 outnumber women when they take this first step – the managerial jobs that bridge the bridge form higher management positions. ”

More waffles, less pancakes, ladies. This should help balance the scales.

Published by Candacemoody

Candace’s background includes human resources, recruitment, training and assessment. She spent several years with a national personnel company and served employers on both coasts. Her writing on business, career, and employment issues has been published in the Florida Times Union, the Jacksonville Business Journal, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and 904 Magazine, as well as several national publications and websites. Candace is often quoted in the media on local labor market and employment issues.
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