Are women and men that different?

gender I am somewhat scared by the prospect of reading my most recent purchase. I was at Chapters this morning searching for Good to Great for the social sector to no avail but came across the following book: What men don’t tell women about business – Opening up the heavily guarded alpha male playbook by Christopher Flett. I was referred to it by a former classmate of mine who is married to the author and with whom I am organizing a women’s event (can you see the theme here?). To give you a sense for the book – in the Chapter’s business section there is an entire shelf of pink books with titles like ” gettting ahead in business for women” and “women in the lead” written by authors called “Poppy” and “Faith”. This shelf of bubblegum is smack in the midst of grey, black, and navy books with titles like “the New Titans” and “The New Wealth”. And then there is this book – with a black and gold cover and a byline that reads: “Discover the deep, dark secrets of the Alpha Businessman”. Ok… deep breath…Bring it on sister. Anyhow… I have reviewed the table of contents and will likely read it over the weekend as it is fairly short. But to give you a sense for what I am embarking on here are the titles of some of the chapters:

  • Things that Drive Men in Business
  • Bailing Water: Taking Things Personally
  • Loose Lips Sink Ships: Not Keeping Secrets
  • Getting Promoted: Taking Command of your Own Ship
  • Manhandling: Avoiding Shark Bites

Now let me be clear- I HATE gender stereotypes. I did  a double major in women studies and sociology and attended a boarding school that had up until three years prior to my first day, been a boy’s school for over seventy years. I have seen firsthand the silliness and stupidity and limit that gender stereotypes create. But I am also aware that there are differences between men and women.  Take for example, lunch conversations. I eat lunch with my male colleagues several times a week and conversations tend to fall into three topics; talking about money; talking about politics; talking about how to make more money. Repeat. Lunch with my female colleagues: talking about family; talking about trying to get more balanced; talking about kids, having kids, not having kids. Repeat. Different, yes. Is one more valuable than the other? No.

So I am excited to hear what Chris has to say. And confident that his intentions are pure…he really wants to help. I am just a bit afraid of what I may learn about my lack of “alpha male’ness”.


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