How to Be a Woman at Work

Business Woman

Steve Pavlina wrote an article “How to Be a Man.” At first I was like whatever. You can’t put us all in a little box. As I read I understood his reasoning for his article. He wanted us to understand our true potential. He wrote about what all men are really capable of being if they let go of their fear. All of us actually put ourselves in a box. We try to define who we are by what we’ve accomplished when in reality we are so much more.


Some of the women do this at my work. They play the role that society puts on them. There are many that I’ve met that have broken through and they’ve become their own women. They aren’t afraid of who they are. They act from their values and make smart choices.


Steve Pavlina asked his fellow bloggers to write “How to Be a Woman.” I might not have as much insight as a woman, but I can shed light on the topic since my CEO is a woman and most of my co-workers are women.

Here are 8 ways to live consciously as a woman at work:

1. Be Compassionate

Women have an innate ability to have compassion for others. It’s why so many of them make great bosses. They understand when their employees are having a bad day and they let them know that they are there to help. They give positive reinforcement, letting their staff know that they are cared for by their co-workers and the company. It makes the employee/co-worker feel more secure in his or her position at work and it’s a great motivator to get them back on track.

2. Feel Sexy

Women are sexual creatures and they know it. When they hide from their sexuality they are telling their co-workers that they are afraid to be a woman. Let me make this clear. Yes, there are women who flaunt their sexuality with way too much exposed flesh and constant sexual hints. That’s not sexy; it’s gross. Sexiness can be as simple as a smile or a brush back of the hair. They don’t flaunt what they have, but they embrace their sexuality.

3. Encourage Others

A woman likes to help others become better at their jobs. A woman who creates an environment of encouragement for others will be successful. She knows that when she picks up the people around her it makes her job easier as well as more enjoyable.

4. Laugh When It’s Funny

A woman doesn’t just laugh at a joke because a superior makes it. She laughs when she thinks the joke is funny. She doesn’t want to make the person who told the joke feel bad so she’ll acknowledge the try, but won’t fake a laugh. A fake laugh is disingenuous.

5. Help Others

A woman understands the social cues of a good work environment. She is willing to help others without receiving help in return, but she also knows the benefits involved in helping her co-workers. She wants others to help her when she is struggling and the only way to do that is to extend a helping hand first.

6. Appreciate Mistakes

Mistakes are natural, especially in a fast-paced work environment. She isn’t afraid to tell someone that they made a mistake and they need to correct it or watch for it next time. She doesn’t do this maliciously or in fear, but for the other person’s own good. She understands that helping others to improve will make the company better.

7. Support Other Co-workers

A woman will back up her co-worker or staff when a client or customer is treating them badly. There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism, but berating someone in front of a group is wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s the richest client that the company has. A company’s staff is more important than money.

8. Share Good Fortune

A woman who receives a bonus because her staff has outperformed expectations will share the wealth with them. They are the reason she looks competent to her bosses so she wants to show her appreciation for their hard work. Her staff deserves to feel good about their hard work, which creates loyalty.


The How to Be a Woman at Work can apply to everyday life, too. Working happy is the theme of my site, so I didn’t want to stray too far off topic. Next week I will post a blog about “How to Be a Man at Work.”


If this article offended anyone, I won’t apologize. This blog was meant to praise women in the workplace. If you can’t see the improvements women are making in the work environment then you aren’t looking hard enough. Women are making the workplace more enjoyable and compassionate than it was way back in the male-dominated work environment. It’s been a slow process, but meaningful change often takes time.


If you enjoyed the article and hope to read more like it then check out my archives section or subscribe to my daily Work Happy Now feed and see if there are some tips that you can use to improve your job. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by an article that may help you enjoy work just a little more. Enjoying work is something that should be at the top of all our “To Do” lists, so pick an article and give it a go.


If this article doesn’t get linked to by Steve then so be it, but I still want to thank Steve and Erin for sparking a little creativity. Let me know what you think of the topic in the comment section, and I hope to hear from the smart women and men who I know want to leave a comment.

27 thoughts on “How to Be a Woman at Work”

  1. Karl–This has the making of a viral post. Get ready for an explosion of comments.

    I agree with you but at the same time, excellent supervisors (CEOs) men or women all exhibit these qualities. So it’s not so much “being a woman” but being person who cares.

    Excellent post!

    Chris’s last blog post..I’m Tired

  2. I think you make some good points here and hope that the general crowd isn’t too PC to think about what you say objectively. Most people, I feel, tend to go on the defensive the minute someone starts exploring the general traits of a race or sex. And, while it’s good to avoid stereotypes and generalizations, it’s also good to notice our differences and think about how we can use these differences to our advantage.

    I definitely see some blow back coming from the sexy section, and I don’t know if I totally agree with sexy being a trait to exhibit at work, but I understand what you’re saying and grasp the idea that when you feel sexy, you feel confident and being confident is definitely a huge asset.

  3. Shilpan @

    Karl –

    Great post. You should have gotten link from Steve’s blog if you wrote this by 9th and submitted to him. I liked all your points about women, especially sexuality one. It’s their finesse as a creature of sexuality that gives them distinct competitive advantage. 🙂


  4. Hey Chris, getting dugg is not any easy thing to do, but hopefully people will give it some love.

    Your right. Most of us could learn a lesson on caring just a little more and stop worrying about ourselves.

  5. Hey Jason, I welcome the back lash that may come from the sexy section because I believe in it. I don’t want women to get offended, but I do want them to take a goo look at themselves in the work place. There are so many different kinds of personalities within women, but they all want to feel sexy at some point. I don’t think they should exploit it, but they should appreciate it.

  6. Hey Shilpan, we all have to use the skills that the Universe gave us and not be afraid of them. When we embrace everything that we are, at work, I believe that success will follow.

  7. I think it’s more than just a little telling that every other point is about other people, non? Nothing about facing fear, personal foibles, or going for what’s important to you.

    I hate to play the sexist card, but buddy, when the strappy unhealthy high-heeled shoe fits…

    The “How to Be a Man” post is much better for women than this one.

  8. Hey Amy, I was trying to convey that we are human and like to feel sexy. I like to feel sexy too. I like when my wife looks at me in a seductive way.

    High heels and a low cut blouse is not my idea of sexy. I do not believe that there is a standard for sexiness. Everyone feels sexy in their own way. It’s up to the individual to find out what makes them feel attractive and go with it.

    My point is that we shouldn’t hide from who we are. We need to embrace everything that we have.

  9. Sorry, have to agree with Amy. Try asking an actual WOMAN how to be a woman next time. Your experience is not our experience. It’s very telling how all the “great post” comments are from men, and now you have two women that think you missed the mark.

    You consistently define women based on the effect they have on other people. For example, in point #4, you say, “She doesn’t want to make the person who told the joke feel bad…”. Wouldn’t it have been just as effective to say that women are genuine and sincere?

    For your next post, how about treating women as actual human beings, instead of some type of sexy object thing whose purpose in life is to make everyone else happy?

  10. Hey Carla, I understand where you are coming from. My wife was a little hesitant about it too. Being my editor she green lighted it because she thought that women really do want to feel sexy.

    I agree that it would have been better to say that women are genuine and sincere. I’ll put that into my memory bank and try to phrase my sentences in the way you suggested.

    I wrote this post expecting that I might get some backlash, but I didn’t expect someone to say that I wasn’t treating women as human beings. I love my wife and my mother. If it wasn’t for them I would be lonely and bitter. I respect their opinions and I respect yours. I didn’t want to offend you, but my purpose was to show a man’s point of view of how important women are in the work place. I feel like I came close, but nothing is perfect especially this article.

    Thanks for your input and I aim to make my next post more inspiring.

  11. Pingback: How to Be a Woman

  12. You are still missing Carla and Amy’s point.

    Your whole post focuses on how women should act around their coworkers but never on how a woman should just be. It’s a classic article on how to caretake which most women already know how to do.

    What is really telling is that you seem to believe that most of the criticism is about item #2 than the whole of the post. The whole article is problematic because it assumes that care taking is all that women are worth.

  13. Well, for what it’s worth, I am a woman who works very hard and consider myself a pretty important member of my workplace and I didn’t really see what was so terrible about this article. I feel like some women are too quick to judge harshly simply because a man wrote the article. What is so wrong with embracing that wonderful, beautiful part about being a woman– that inherent ability to care for others, to put others before ourselves, to wear our hearts on our sleeves, to multitask and work so hard and so selflessly– the traits that so many women possess that make us damn good employees, managers, CEOs, team leaders and team players! Imagine if all managers and workers could have this kind of effect on “other people” instead of always being worried about what’s “important for them.” I see nothing wrong with the fact that he has recognized these strengths in women and is not afraid to put himself out there and encourage women to capitalize on their inherent strengths. I didn’t see a single thing in this article that dehumanized women or indicated that they needed to put on some strappy high heel to be a real woman. In fact I saw just the opposite. So… sorry Amy and Carla; I’ll have to disagree. I mean, give the guy a break– if he had written everything that makes a woman “a woman” at work, the article would be neverending! We are complex creatures, after all.

  14. Hey Tracy, I don’t think I’m missing Amy and Carla’s points. They have valid views of my perspective. I might have skewed my list toward a care-taking angle, but that is not all women are worth. I don’t believe that you think that I have such a small minded perspective. I was trying to encapsulate the great things that I see in women. I should have added more that focused on a larger variety of traits, but alas it’s too late.

  15. Face it, we all need each other. Gender, race, lifestyle differences and judging in general is old school thinking in the work place. Yes, the differences exist. That’s what makes it all so interesting. Embrace these differences. These are some interesting times we live in. Let’s all get real and try to do something meaningful and positive today. It may change a life.

  16. Hey LA, we do need to embrace our differences. That’s what makes work so awesome. I’m working on a new post that will bring us all together as a team that believes in happiness at work. We’ll all just want to hug everyone. Well maybe not want hug each other, but it will at least put a smile on each of our faces.

  17. Pingback: Weekend of Feminine Awesomeness « Persistent Illusion

  18. Karl, each of the ladies have valid points that I agree with. Knowing you, even if it is only through your blog, I wasn’t offended by anything that you wrote. You made some valid points as well. Society does try to pigeon hole each sex into roles. It is up to us as individuals whether or not we choose to stay in those narrow little roles. A lot of women today are choosing to step up and out of those confined boundaries that seem to be mostly invented by men anyway. Discussion is good.

    Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker’s last blog post..Tag—You’re It—Another Meme

  19. Hey Patricia, discussion is good and I hoped that I would get it when I wrote this piece. I’m glad people aren’t afraid to step up and tell me what’s on their mind. As this article sits on this site, I hope more women and men leave a comment because they help make me a better writer.

  20. I wasn’t referring to the sexy thing. I think that women (and men) who go around being uncomfortable in their bodies all the time are not “being the best they can be” (insert platitude here).

    The problem is the subservience aspect.

    Men should face their fears… and women should support, share, and encourage others. That’s it? What about taking care of themselves?

    The real reason women *don’t* succeed is because they don’t ask for raises or positions or responsibility, don’t challenge the status quo, don’t take credit or ask for credit, won’t stand up and fight for their say – even when they know they are right. These are things that many men do, but that women, as a rule, don’t.

    Women need to learn to take care of themselves rather than sitting back and hoping they will achieve recognition for being a sweetheart.

    Being nice is nice, and laudable, and supporting other people is an important aspect of personal growth, however it won’t get you much further than that. And lots of women support others not because they’re big-hearted, but because they consider themselves to be of low worth.

    Perpetuating that belief is not the way to help anyone.

    (By the way, every item in my list is documented by numerous studies! Try that with your points.)

  21. Hey Amy, you are right. I should have put more emphasis on overcoming fear and becoming a go getter. We need strong women in the work place. My CEO is a woman and she has strong convictions and I respect her for it.

    I do stand by my convictions. I believe that women are caring, beautiful, and smart, but I should have expanded my list to cover a wider range of women’s wonderful attributes. Thank you for your perspective. I’m writing a post about “How to Be a Man at Work” and I’m realizing I need to expand that one out too.

  22. Hey Patricia, I have told my CEO that I appreciate her leadership. I’ve never told her that she is a strong woman. You make a good point. If she is in a good mood this week, I think that I will tell her that I appreciate that she is a strong woman.

  23. Luke aka "the cuz"

    Amy, Amy, Amy. Sounds like the Work Happy Guy was trying to keep an open mind about life and the characteristics of being human. Its nice to see that the Work Happy Guy took a chance and wrote about what it appears you believe is contoverial topic. I think you misunderstood the spirit of the article. Patricia is right, it is our choice as individuals wether we to play into the roles that are defined by society. In case that women are struggling with their identity, I am sure that since you are the expert on women, you would be willing to help them define what you believe their role in society should be. Amy, try to keep and open mind once in a while and maybe you would see that the Work Happy Guy is trying to celebrate the workplace not bottle it and slap a lable on it! LOL!

  24. The girls are right. You have no idea how to be a Woman at Work.
    You should maybe interview some people and let their experiences and lives guide your next post.

  25. Hi Karl,

    The traits you listed for a woman (at work) are also the same traits a women has as a wife and mother. Maybe that explains why women are the ones who give birth. 🙂 And confirms the phrase, “A women’s work is never done.”

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Those Are Fighting Words

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