What I’ve learnt as the only woman in an all-male team

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I work as the only woman in a team of six men. And while I have no desire to misrepresent the opposite sex or be unfair towards my male colleagues (they’re sweethearts, really) I can tell you, the fact that I am a woman will always be at the back of my mind. 

In my previous position I was in an all-female team that focused on traditionally female interest topics. At my current job (well, current until my boss reads this) I’m part of an all-male team, and not just any male team, but an all-male sports team. 

So, I feel I can say with fairness that I’ve seen both sides of the coin. This is what I’ve learnt - think of it as hello from the other side…  

Men have bladders of steel

You’re probably thinking, ‘what sane person counts how many times her colleagues get up from their desks?’ 
That would be me, looking at these guys who down water like its 68 degrees outside and staying put while I have one cup of tea and BOOM! - two to three bathroom breaks in the next two hours. 

I know it’s no competition, but imagine your boss having to have a conversation with you about your bathroom visits (insert monkey covering eyes emoji). 

And I’ve promised myself that I’ll take the period card to my grave. 

They don’t hold grudges

It’s true what some say about men being less likely to hold a grudge. I’ve seen intense arguments occur when they’re telling each other off (which is both entertaining and alarming) and then five minutes later they’d be chatting like nothing happened and I’d be left thinking, “But... I... Why... Aren’t you guys mad at each other?”

If I was in a fight like that I’d expect either loads of snide one-liners or the silent treatment all day...

They are surprisingly neat

This will probably make my ex-boss giggle, as everyone around the office knew about their messy desk situation, but since moving space I’ve noticed that the guys are kind of neat freaks.

With only a few items placed on their desk there’s not that much going on, maybe an odd photo frame or a few stacked books or papers, but other than that, they’re nonchalant about the whole ‘making your desk you’ situation. Basically, it’s clean, but there’s also very little personality there, which is kind of a downer. 

Sometimes too sweet for my liking

I’m a bit annoyed (or is that just the womanly over-thinking paranoia coming into effect) that these guys hardly complain or are considerably well-behaved.

 According to a friend, who sits a few desks away, ever since I arrived these guys have been a bit more quiet and reserved than usual. 
This annoys me, because I do not want to restrict their behaviour, I want them to go on as before, but I guess they have to get used to my presence, which at the moment is ‘try and be as quiet and invisible as possible’.

No one’s EVER wrong

They are a bunch of know-it-all’s, to be frank, or that’s what they think they are. They discuss and talk about sports, as easy as talking about how Beyoncé slays everything she does. It’s quite intriguing to be honest. 

But get ONE statistic wrong, hell breaks loose. And according to them they’re never wrong, until the dreaded words of ‘Google it’ comes out and the victor drops the mic like:

Image: Giphy

They aren’t chatterbugs, but when they talk they TALK

It’s definitely a quiet environment to work in, everyone’s busy and we often go hours upon hours not talking to one another, but once that dam wall breaks everything gushes through. You’ll just say ‘Oh Ronaldo’ and in the next 20 minutes an in-depth discussion on Cristiano Ronaldo takes place, and then randomly there’s always one who mentions that he has a girlfriend for some other reason... We get it, Tom, you’ve got a girlfriend.

Such gossips

I thought women love to skinner, but these guys gossip like those tannies at the hairdressers or tills. I’m still completely shocked when I overhear their conversations about some of the people in the office or when they dish dirt about a particular person they all know. It’s quite hilarious sometimes and I’m sure they see me smiling or pulling an earphone out of my ear.

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