For a long time, there has been a gender difference between men and women in life and the work environment. Women have been fighting for equal rights and fair treatment, and it has almost been achieved. Even though there are more opportunities today, there is still prejudice, and partially, it comes from the fact that men and women are different not only biologically but mentally as well. Gender plays a differential role in business and communication, which is needed to achieve certain results.
The main difference comes from the understanding and thinking of each gender. For the most part, to say generally, men are more power-hungry and demand to be in a position of authority. This has come from a long history of male domination, and men have gotten used to being in control and charge. Also, men are more focused on finding out the neutral and clear cut facts about something, which leads them to be more direct and assertive (Barrett, 2007). Women use a much different technique in achieving their goals, as it stems from better insight into the matter of things. Because women were segregated for such a long time and prevented from taking up higher and more prominent positions, they have developed a unique method of reaching their goal, and it is not the same as men’s. Women tend to center on the person, deeper insight into the context and personality of the speaker, and the general situation. This allows for better qualitative analysis of information, linking it to the individual presenting the facts. Of course, it would be unwise to conclude that all men and women exhibit these qualities, as there are women who want to have all the authority and men who have profound insight. Still, the standard for the majority is upheld by the existing evidence (Minniti, 2009).
An interesting fact that emerges through the case study between Claudia and Robert is that Claudia is more direct and wants to be credited for her work so that people are aware of who is really behind the work completed. Robert, on the other hand, has been less direct and even though his motive might be to take all the credit, he has done it without being wise or knowledgeable. The fact that Claudia was frustrated is understandable because she was the one who has done all the work. Claudia has decided to talk directly to Robert and find out why he has proceeded in such an unfair way, and possibly, she wanted to find a way to resolve the issue and find a compromise. Robert has made it seem like there was no problem, trying to conceal his sneaky methods by supposing that Claudia is sensitive, and there is no real problem. This sort of situation is not surprising because men have been using this technique for many centuries—if something cannot be taken or credited to them, it can be stolen. This is the major difference in the communication styles where Claudia is used to working her problems out, investing time and effort while Robert can just use his position and take credit for someone else’s work (Reeves, 2010).
If one places themselves in Robert’s shoes, there are two distinct results and reasons. In case he was sincere, and this was indeed done for reasons he stated, faster notification, then he should follow up with the letter and send out an email that credits Claudia and explains the work she has done. If he was trying to take all the credit for Claudia’s work, then he would continue to downplay the situation, pretending as if nothing significant took place, and Claudia is overreacting. Claudia also had several decisions she could have made about Robert’s actions. If she wanted to continue her battle with unfair treatment, she could have gone to higher management and explained the situation. She could have also consulted the Human Resources department on the best course of action. Another solution for Claudia could be to send out an email that indirectly explains all the details that she is more aware of, thus making it obvious that she did the work. Also, she could disregard the situation altogether and bury her frustration and anger. This would be the most ineffective decision because neither men nor women should allow others to take credit for work they have not done.
There is a supposition that women are better at communicating than men. In reality, it is difficult to say because every individual has their unique technique in the interaction with other people. It could be assumed that women are better because they were environmentally forced to be better communicators. Since they could not wage wars and overpower men, they had to develop skills that are different from forceful overtake of power. This would develop language and thinking skills. But the modern times have made gender differences less noticeable with men being great negotiators and women strong fighters. It could be said that both genders have become equal in their communication and sense of direction.
Barrett, M. (2007). Gender and communication at work. Burlington, United States: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Minniti, M. (2009). Gender issues in entrepreneurship. Hanover, United States: Now Publishers Inc.
Reeves, M. (2010). Women in business: Theory, case studies, and legal challenges. New York, United States: Routledge.