A robust, in-depth new podcast for women in the workplace launched by public radio reporter. By Ashley Milne-Tyte (Public Radio Reporter & Student, CUNY Entrepreneurial Journalism Program)
I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur until recently. As a public radio reporter, I’ve done stories about entrepreneurs. But all that business sense? That desire to talk about money and make things happen and stay up all night? It wasn’t me. But for several years I’ve been fascinated by stories involving women.
I studied sociolinguistics at college, and the different ways in which men and women communicate began to fascinate me. Years later, I got interested in how differently the two sexes behave in the workplace, and society’s still conflicted view of women’s role in modern life. I’ve done stories about why marketers ignore single women, why so many women hate negotiating and why (too) many professional women speak in upspeak-infused baby voices well into our thirties.
Which brings me to The Broad Experience, a podcast about women and the workplace I’ve launched while studying on CUNY’s entrepreneurial journalism program.
Most women are at some point forced to confront the way they do things and wonder if it’s getting them what they want at work. A few examples of typical female behavior and experiences: not asking for things (be it projects or more money), assuming you’ll actually be recognized for your good work if you keep beavering away (wrong), and, on the flip side, if you are confident and openly ambitious, getting taken aside for a quiet word about your ‘aggressive’ style.
That’s why I’m launching this show – to have a robust, in-depth conversation about these things that will entertain while also informing women (and men) and helping women question some of our own behavior. Did you know only about 20% of opinion pieces in this country are written by women? A good op-ed can lead to all sorts of career opportunities, but women have a tendency not to put ourselves out there because doing so may invite criticism. And that means being disliked, something a lot of us avoid at all costs. But the less visible we are in the public sphere, the less influence we can have in the world.
And while attitudes are changing, social conditioning is a powerful thing. Take the 20-something woman I interviewed who didn’t want to press her boss for a raise because she didn’t want to put the boss in an awkward position. “I didn’t want to ask her to go to bat for me,” she said, as doing so would, in this young woman’s eyes, make her a nuisance, and “you want people to like you.”
Stereotypical notions about male/female roles are ebbing away, but again, not as fast as you might think.
A friend of mine posted this exchange on Facebook recently. She was in a Brooklyn playground with her toddler son when she overheard a father saying to his little girl, “You’re a girl, Elsie. Girls don’t play in the dirt.”
If Elsie keeps hearing messages like that as she grows up, how likely is she to start her own business?
Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Ashley Milne-Tyteis a writer and public radio reporter based in New York. Over the years she has covered everything from collateralized debt obligations and bad banks to the business advantages of babies in bars – often in less than three minutes. Her print pieces have appeared in the Financial Times, New York Daily News, Wall Street Journal, and Independent.