November 29th, 2015

It’s official. Working in a “male-dominated” field or organization is stressful for women. According to researchers, daily stress hormone patters were higher in women who worked in jobs where at least 85 per cent of the workforce were men.*

Last Thursday, a group of 18 A City for Her members met in the heart of Paris in order to share their own experiences and discuss this issue.
We all spent a fantastic evening in a very relaxed atmosphere. Each one of us had the opportunity to introduce herself and to provide other group members with incredible stories and testimonials.

Fact is that all discussions led to the very same conclusion: Working in a male-dominated environment is exhausting and stressful for many women.

A couple of days ago I found a very good article (including related links) on this topic. It mentionned a study published by the Stanford School of Business, showing that

women who are aggressive, assertive, and confident but who can turn these traits on and off, depending on the social circumstances, get more promotions than either men or other women,

i.e., these masculine traits help women succeed if balanced by more feminine behaviors.

Being masculine — but not too masculine, too often or at the wrong times — is rewarded. We know that a woman who is “too masculine” (or not masculine enough) can be punished — the “double bind.” It is exhausting and stressful for many women to walk this tightrope.

It is stressful for many women to work to be heard through the gendered filter that simply doesn’t hear leadership in a female voice or a feminine style of speaking. It is hard work to have to prove one’s competence — which is presumed in one’s male counterparts.

Stress? You bet! Let’s not start prescribing anti-stress medication. Let’s work to create workplace cultures that leverage the natural strengths of both the masculine and feminine variety.*

Author: Caroline Turner
*Full article:

A City for Her is a community, an international network of dynamic business women, (aspiring) women entrepreneurs, startup founders, project initiators, freelancers, and motivated students. A City for Her aims to facilitate face-to-face meetings, simplify how women from many different places and sectors of industry do business, and help them build a stronger network.




  1. Marie-Anne Coste-Devigne 5 years ago

    It was a very “dynamic” and international dinner with women working in different fields and countries thanks to Nadia. We had a lot to exchange. Nice place to meet too.

  2. Béatrice Lemoine 5 years ago

    As usual Nadia: a very pleasant moment to share expreriences !

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