Point 1: Understand WHY Girly Geeks Chapters are working
Women Don’t Ask, by Linda Babcock looks at many women studies, but one I have to chat about.
You have heard about “Fight or Flight”? Researchers believed that everyone responded in the same way to stress. Danger triggered a physiological reaction that motivated a person to either fight the source or flee…
Later on “researchers Shelley Talyor and Laura Klien noticed that females and males colleagues behaved differently in challenging situations. There was this joke that when the women who worked in the lab were stressed, they came in, cleaned the lab, had coffee and bonded… when the men were stressed, they holded up somewhere on their own”.
This led Talyor and Klien to revisit the research and found the vast majority of the stress results were from males (90%). Talyor and Klien then looked closer at whether or not females respond to stress in the same way that men do.
While I was reading this chapter, I pulled out my highlighter and began highlighting “key words”. Maybe this is something you are aware of already, but I found it to be enlightening.
How are these Key words related?
Fight-or-Flight; Oxytocin; Testosterone; Calming effect; Social-bonding; Bloodstream
What does this have to do with Male or Female?
Apparently these researchers learned that men and women might react differently to stressful situations due to the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is released into the blood stream of both men and women “during extreme stress and it provides calming effect and promotes caretaking and social -bonding behaviors”.
“Testosterone reduces this effect of oxytocin and men have a lot of testosterone, the release of oxytocin into the their systems has little impact on their fight or flight response. Women have much lower levels of testosterone that men do and much higher levels of estrogen, which magnifies the effects of oxytocin” stated by the author.
Babcock continues to explain, “As a result women release of oxytocin into their bloodstreams can block the fight or flight response and prompt them instead to reach out for social support.” This finding led Taylor and Klien to dub the female version of stress response “tend and befriend”.
From my point of view, I strongly agree that women need supportive environment and this research helped me understand the true difference between Men and Women.
Point 2: After you understand, get involved. How?
I am surprised how many men say “I wish there was something like this for us” or “can I come to Girly Geek meeting”. There are many different ways men can support women and get involved in Girly Geeks.
Share your knowledge: Offer to present topic at the next Girly Geek chapter meet up. WI Girly Geeks is excited to have @Brian Kwong (aka The Wizard) do a hands-on workshop on flow and processor builder. Super excited!
Join forces: I am lucky to work with WI User Group leaders who want to support and help Girly Geeks in any way or shape possible. Together, we are organizing a “User Group & Girly Geek picnic”. Making memories!
Spread the word: Men can show support by talking with women in the Salesforce space by encouraging women to participate in their local Girly Geeks. I have had a couple men recruit new Women In Tech and/or provide introductions. Welcome Friends!
Become a Mentor: Take the time and mentor a fellow woman in tech. Teach them what you know and share experiences. I am lucky to have @Ryan Headley as co-worker in the office… who helps me everyday. Even if it is bouncing ideas around, troubleshooting, or reviewing my damn formulas.
Join the Conservation: My favorite way for men to support Girly Geeks is to be part of the conversation! Figure out a way for you to support Women In Tech and act on it!
I strongly believe Men need to be part of the solution to increase the number of Women in Tech jobs.