women at work

What Do Women Want at Work?

In the movie What Women Want, Mel Gibson plays a sexist advertising executive. He operates under the delusion that he is God’s gift to women. However, an accident gives him the power to hear women’s thoughts. He comes to know the brutal truth, and it results in his personal transformation.

The gap between the amount of men and women in the workplace continues to get smaller. In addition, we are seeing more and more women in leadership positions in the workforce. Do you wonder what they are really thinking about us? I recently asked for feedback from women at work in various environments asking how they wanted men to act. The themes were surprisingly common. Knowing these will help you develop healthy relationships with women at work. If you are married, conducting yourself well with women at work is like telling your wife you love her. It will make her more secure and strengthen your marriage. Here’s what women said they wanted from men at work.


Overwhelmingly, women said they wanted common and professional courtesy. Above all, she is a co-worker trying to make money to provide for herself and/or her family–just like you. Listen to her, value her opinion, and affirm her. Don’t cut her off mid-sentence. Make eye contact so she knows she has your attention and respect.

Personal Space and Touching

Don’t be a creeper. No touching. Not only can it lead to something unhealthy, but women can feel threatened when men enter their space. Shake hands and be professional, but keep an appropriate distance. If you need to move around them in a tight space, ask politely–don’t squeeze through.

Don’t Stereotype

Stay away from phrases like “Women are just emotional” and “She’s PMSing.” Attitudes like these have a way of devaluing women. It subtly undercuts their intelligence and feelings.

Filter Your Words

Filter the things you say, especially your jokes. Coarse language and joking makes women feel uncomfortable.

Treating women as equals doesn’t mean we pretend they are men.

Be a Gentleman

Treating women as equals doesn’t mean we pretend they are men. They still appreciate acts of chivalry. Treat them like a lady by opening doors for them. Most women said they would like help when lifting heavy things, but ask, don’t assume.

Smell Good

No one likes body odor, but particularly the ladies. Use deodorant and breath mints.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How should you treat others?”