Women Mean Business

Take a look at the picture below.

On the left is the typical Western Business Man. On the right is the typical Western Business Woman. Apart from their sex, can you spot the difference between the pair?

can you spot the difference between the businessman and the businesswoman?

 

While living in South Korea as a child, I learned a surprising answer to this question from an exemplary lady who neither spoke English nor was she herself a businesswoman.

Here’s a brief account of what came to pass:

 

One evening, my father invited a business colleague over for dinner.

At the time, my mother was the only woman ‘working’ at my father’s office. She accompanied him to most of his events, played hostess at his dinners, and carried out many secretarial duties.

When my father informed her that he had invited over a colleague to discuss a business deal, she firmly warned my father that something was not right about his colleague; she did not like him. My mother’s advice was that my father should not make any deals with the man.

Promptly, my father over-ruled her and thus found himself at the dinner table as planned.

While the food was being prepared, our maid went in and out through the kitchen door without disturbing the conversation.

They awaited the main course to arrive and in the meantime, the men exchanged niceties and small talk. My mother sat quietly at the table and observed the conversation between them.

At last, the maid entered the dining hall with food and laid it out on the table.

She began to serve the meal.

Before I go on, please understand that customs differ between cultures as to who should eat before whom. So it was highly unusual when the maid began to fill my father’s plate first.

My parents glanced uncomfortably at one another.

The maid continued by serving my mother next.

Again, that was highly unusual. Once more, my parents, exchanged uncomfortable glances and my father smiled nervously at his guest.

Nothing could have prepared my family for what came next.

The maid turned and faced the guest. Suddenly, she jerked at an imaginary necktie high above her head and spoke sharply at my father’s guest.

“You stupid!” She hissed.

Just as briskly, she turned on her heels, stormed out to the kitchen and did not return.

 

 

A Woman’s Intuition

When one’s maid denies service to a guest, it is embarrassing.

When one’s maid is responsible for making her master lose a deal with a potential partner, it is frustrating.

When one’s maid calls the guest of honour “You stupid”, it is surely punishable.

One might say, our maid was in no position to give an opinion while serving guests, especially on her master’s business affairs. But she was willing to risk her income to take care of her own. Her maternal instincts kicked in and she wanted to protect my father.

Consequently, my father did not get angry with her.

After escorting the guest out of the house, my father went to the kitchen and applauded the maid’s grand felony! He was moved by her loyalty. He came to realise that he liked the man NO MORE than did either his wife or maid.

My father’s women had correctly assessed his guest’s sly sneers and dishonest body language and protected their own.

 

Once again, let me ask you, what is the difference between the businessman and the businesswoman pictured above?

The necktie. That’s it.

Men may be better at some things, but in affairs of business, to me the necktie says it all:

“If men can run the world, why can’t they stop wearing neckties? I mean, how intelligent is it to start the day by tying a noose around your neck?”

-Linda Ellerbee

 

Author: Camilla Andersson

Camilla Andersson is an artist entrepreneur who currently resides in Sweden. She spent 12 years in Korea as the daughter of a traveling businessman.

28 thoughts on “Women Mean Business”

  1. Very interesting article.I really liked it.
    Unfortunately you do not see many women in business. They say women can't handle stress and they are emotional to take sound decisions. Not sure how true this is. I suppose in some cultures people are not used to women in business. Once I placed an ad to sell a piece of land. All callers were men, and they insisted to talk to my husband because where I live this kind of business in not for women.

    1. I know a lot of women in business. They are aggressive, multi-taskers, direct, empowering, and many other words. You are right, some cultures do not encourage women in business. It's a shame to because if many of the CEO's would get of their high horse they might be able to get some great leaders into their business and take it even further.

      The Glass Ceiling in Corporate America is pretty lame.

    2. Yeah thats true Richard.
      Something I wanted (and forgot) to point out in the article was that it is the wives of Korea that manage the household economy. This is very very common, that the man will literally transfer his salary over to his wife's account so that the financial home is in order :)
      And it works as far as I see.
      My parents too, adopted this practice while and after living there.

      I really hope that you (anybody) as a wive is a part of the financial matters, merely to be educated in that aspect. and if not, start a little business on your own, builds character! :)

  2. Camilla

    thats cool, i hate ties, apart from my cool pink one 😉

    women have to do twice as much to be thought of as highly as men, luckily that isnt hard :-) haha

    When i had a job, in management, there were 3 managers, i always thought atleast 1 had to be female, the place was better than when there were 3 blokes, ego doesnt get in the way

    looking forward to the next one

  3. Very interesting article.I really liked it.
    Unfortunately you do not see many women in business. They say women can't handle stress and they are emotional to take sound decisions. Not sure how true this is. I suppose in some cultures people are not used to women in business. Once I placed an ad to sell a piece of land. All callers were men, and they insisted to talk to my husband because where I live this kind of business in not for women.

    1. I know a lot of women in business. They are aggressive, multi-taskers, direct, empowering, and many other words. You are right, some cultures do not encourage women in business. It's a shame to because if many of the CEO's would get of their high horse they might be able to get some great leaders into their business and take it even further.

      The Glass Ceiling in Corporate America is pretty lame.

  4. Camilla

    thats cool, i hate ties, apart from my cool pink one 😉

    women have to do twice as much to be thought of as highly as men, luckily that isnt hard :-) haha

    When i had a job, in management, there were 3 managers, i always thought atleast 1 had to be female, the place was better than when there were 3 blokes, ego doesnt get in the way

    looking forward to the next one

  5. Nicely written Camilla. Just ignore my gravatar photo – LOL!

    Anyway, I like wearing ties…sometimes. But in my experience, women are typically much better judges of character than men. They pick up on subtle actions and comments that may otherwise mask someone's hidden intentions.

    I once learned a trick from Dave Ramsey, which is to take a prospective employee out for dinner and include the spouses, because my wife, she doesn't miss a beat when it comes to reading someone's body language and actions. And you simply can't deny the God given intuition that you ladies naturally have within you.

    Enjoyed the post.

  6. Nicely written Camilla. Just ignore my gravatar photo – LOL!

    Anyway, I like wearing ties…sometimes. But in my experience, women are typically much better judges of character than men. They pick up on subtle actions and comments that may otherwise mask someone's hidden intentions.

    I once learned a trick from Dave Ramsey, which is to take a prospective employee out for dinner and include the spouses, because my wife, she doesn't miss a beat when it comes to reading someone's body language and actions. And you simply can't deny the God given intuition that you ladies naturally have within you.

    Enjoyed the post.

  7. Why does women have it so hard in business…because we are the shizzle! I don't think I wanna put on a necktie though:)

    Toni

  8. Why does women have it so hard in business…because we are the shizzle! I don't think I wanna put on a necktie though:)

    Toni

  9. I guess that is one way to look at it, women generally do read body language better than men. In fact some men, myself included cannot read it at all. Women also generally seem to have better intuition than do men as well, so who knows, always and never only exist in math. When dealing with biological organisms it is always just most likely or better than, always and best however never apply when dealing with life.

  10. I guess that is one way to look at it, women generally do read body language better than men. In fact some men, myself included cannot read it at all. Women also generally seem to have better intuition than do men as well, so who knows, always and never only exist in math. When dealing with biological organisms it is always just most likely or better than, always and best however never apply when dealing with life.

    1. This is especially nice coming from you Winston :)

      I always thought you were a black and white reasoner, but when you talk about degrees the beautiful artistic side comes out of you hahaha 😉

      Science is beautiful 😉
      AH life :)

  11. This, this is a MANS world….yeh right. Look what MEN have done to it.
    My girlfriend who 2 years ago was very far from business minded, recently opened her beauty salon (which is doing well and growing nicely). She has made most of her decisions based on her gut feeling. She has amazed me with what she has achieved in a short space of time with no “business training”.

    WOMEN earned their place at the head of the table a long time ago. Us MEN are just to scared to give it to them.

    Great article Camilla. I hate ties.

  12. I have been in so many situations (business and other where my intuition has been sp strong anoutbthe other person that it has saved is many times from making poor decisions. That’s why every great business man should have a great business woman by his side. My husband would agree :)

  13. I really appreciate that the women in this story refused to be silenced. Sometimes a little nonverbal communication and maybe a few yelps here and there are the way to get the message across. I always got the feeling that some people think to be heard they have to scream or burn stuff, but really you can be super clear with people by putting a kink in the order of things to demonstrate that something is very wrong.

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