Gender, Age, and Careerism: A Question

I’ve worked in a large number of offices for a large number of companies in my life, and one thing has always struck me as constant between them: young female college graduates (generally fresh out of college or only a few years thereafter), tend to be the hardest workers in the office. They keep their personal lives private and usually decline to attend happy hour after work. A majority of them seem to be happily single. They work long hours and never, ever seem to make any mistakes at work. Conversely, the guys will chat about sports, participate in football pools and happy hours, and while they too work hard, they take a slightly more relaxed approach to their jobs.

Is this a trend, or is it confirmation bias? If it’s a trend, what’s causing it? Why do these young women feel they need to work harder and take their jobs more seriously than the young guys or the older crowd? Do they fear that they have to fight harder to be taken as seriously as the men, or are they just less prone to distraction than the men?

Because they do. They are going to have to show they can’t be distracted to get promoted. People still have bias against women, young women in particular … cute women can’t be smart, she’ll get married and have a baby and leave us, she’s only here to find a husband.

I have two young women who work for me, and the people around them claim that they talk too much. I sit next to them, I know so little about their lives its amazing, they don’t talk. But they are young and cute and they must be distracting (and I suspect to the guys they sit nearby they are…but it isn’t because they talk).

I also think that women TEND to be better planners and worriers. So right now, a young woman with a job is working her butt off making herself valuable so she keeps her job or can find a new one. Guys TEND to be more in the moment - they aren’t that worried about a layoff that isn’t even a rumor.

I’m not sure that it’s true to the extent you perceive, but I would say that it’s generally true. And I’d agree with Dangerosa that they do generally need to work harder and produce more than their male counterparts to be promoted. I’ve said before, the problem for most women in the workplace has never been the glass ceiling, it’s been the sticky floor.

I’ve noticed it working with interns (post grad, mostly working on MFA’s). The young men seem to be very chatty and excitable, especially in a group. Sort of a puppy-pile. Individually they are much quieter and seem older and more responsible. The young women tend to be more serious and focused on work.

I don’t notice it to the degree that you do. I do notice that when young college graduates don’t have their shit together, men tend not to have it together in a particular way, while the women tend not to have it together in a another way. They’r both a pain in the ass, but in different ways.

Thinking of my office, they are two recent grads who are both squared away, one man and one woman and they are both similar in their competency.

A smarter man would be able to adapt Tolsoy’s quote about all happy families being the same, but all unhappy families being unique in their misery.

My experiance is the opposite of the OP. The ladies desks were festuned with stuffed animals, toys. pictures of boyfriends/random guys and generally unprofessional. They*** could not ***piss or smoke in groups of less than 5. They would actively roam the floor looking for pissers and smokers to join the pack! Gum-chewers. Gossip. Chit-chat.

Fuck I’m glad I don’t work there anymore!