For every guy who has ever wondered what it is like in the world of women, we are here with a report: It is weird, amazing, and exactly like the world the rest of us live in.
The four of us work at the New York office of DeVries Global, which has a woman-to-man ratio of roughly 10-to-1. Here are a few codicils from the oath all guys take upon signing up here: We promise to set aside the first 10 minutes of every meeting to discuss what happened last night on Bravo.
We can try to resist peppering emails and texts with emoticons, but in the end, resistance is futile. And we will eventually become comfortable using lots of exclamation points as well. We will forget any notion of starting an NCAA bracket.
If this sounds too negative, allow us to add that this has been the greatest work experience any of us have ever had. A few of the surface reasons for that: Our colleagues are fonts of wisdom about how women want guys to behave in relationships – and not all of it is unsolicited. We know where to take dates. Our co-workers have the downlow on the hippest, non-Irish bars. And, smelling nice is a simple way to put people at ease.
But of all the lessons we have learned, the main one is this: Working so intensively with women has made us better men. It has shown us that speaking about our different opinions is healthier than glossing over those differences. Women do not want any kind of special treatment, they want equality. And we have seen that women are individuals who happen to be female, not the other way around.
The ultimate realization: Whether they are in the executive suite or the mailroom – women can be kind, smart, obnoxious, pushy, timid, ambitious, arrogant, and amazing in equal measure with their male counterparts. You hear a lot about how we are living in an era of one-to-one marketing and the power of personal expression, yet too often we fall back on thinking about women in terms of the arbitrary groups they arbitrarily occupy.
Demographics, categories, life stages – these often set the parameters for our efforts to reach women. And to be sure, they have their place, but our time at DeVries has taught us that, whether marketing mascara or motor oil, it pays to think of women as having more to do all day then sit around doing woman things.
Women can be found doing what everyone does: Trying to get through a day with a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, and a little bit of joy.
Written by DeVries Global’s Patrick Brady, Matt Schwartz, Jason Hall, and Kyle Sharick.