There are many parallels between the technology and remodeling industries, the most prominent being the gender gap and how it can affect a company’s culture. This issue has been top of mind with the recent news surrounding a “manifesto” published by a Google engineer which inferred that women were not capable of handling stressful situations and were therefore not suitable for certain jobs within the industry.
Can a male-dominated company “Bro Culture” create a hostile environment? Or worse, can it cost your company business? The answer is yes, and here are a few characteristics to look out for and how to fix them.
Whether you are aware of it or not, those fishing, hunting or golf trips that you and your work buddies go on are excluding team members and you’re making matters worse by talking endlessly about them the following day or posting on social media.
Fix it: Why not make your next outing a company event and include everyone? If it’s golf, invite the whole team but make tennis an option, or perhaps those that don’t want to golf can just come to the gathering afterward at the 19th hole. There are many ways to get others involved and I am sure they would appreciate the opportunity.
Locker Room Talk
Maintaining professional workplace decorum can be challenging in any office environment; when the gender ratio is skewed, one way or the other, it can turn idle office chatter into a minefield strewn with questionable language, sexual innuendo or worse. That scenario becomes infinitely worse if it expands outside the office onto job sites.
Fix it: Make company policies and guidelines concerning language & behavior very clearly defined and enforced for everyone in the company, especially owners, managers and those employees having direct contact with your clients.
With so many women involved in, and in many instances making, the final decision on which company to use for a prospective remodel, what type of image is your company presenting? If you think your female prospect doesn’t notice your all-male “Our Team” page on your website, or will have an issue with your production team dropping “F-bombs” in her house, you are mistaken.
Fix it: First, be more inclusive and open-minded when hiring and building your team not only for client-facing positions but for production as well. Second, help show the diversity of your company by including photos of everyone on your website, marketing materials and social media assets.
One Side of the Story
Long before John Gray wrote Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus 35 years ago, we were well-aware that men and women are different. It is that difference that makes us stronger together than when we are apart. If your company is male-oriented you are missing out on the female perspective not only in design and client engagement, but in running the business as well.
Fix it: Recruit, hire and promote from within and be more inclusive in gathering feedback about running all aspects of your business. When assembling your management or advisory team, make sure you are including a female perspective; if you do not have females on your staff, perhaps ask a business associate (CPA, Marketing Firm, Attorney, etc.) to attend your meetings.
A company’s culture is critical not only to its owners and employees, but it can directly affect how a company is perceived by prospective clients in the marketplace. Is it time for you to look at yours? Ask for feedback from your team, your advisory board and your current and past clients as well. Use that feedback to make positive changes that will ultimately make you more successful.