Do you think men are from Mars and women are from Venus, even in the office? Or do you think both sexes approach their jobs—including management jobs—the same way, and any differences have to do with their skill sets, not gender?
Whether differences between the sexes are real, perceived or rooted in personal bias, bring up the subject of whether working for a female boss is different from working for a male boss, and you’re guaranteed a spirited debate.
Does it matter who you work for? Maybe not. But plenty of studies say gender can affect how a boss or co-worker makes choices and interacts with employees. That means learning about biological and sociological differences might help you get along better with everyone—which could make you known as an adaptable employee.
At the same time, demonstrating you’re adept to the gender roles of 2013 instead of 1953 (you know, like never making a snarky comment about the female boss having a male secretary) will make you look professional.
Here are four ways to make sure you’re gender savvy at work:
1. When you make small talk, don’t revert to gender stereotypes.