I didn’t give Henna Pryor any prior warning. I just hit her with the question point-blank. She’s spent enough time in corporate culture. She didn’t hesitate. She just rattled off her answers.
What are the top five signs you’ve walked into a ‘bro culture’ in a corporate workplace?
Henna has made out like a bandit working in these spaces. She was tonning it in sales. She had a flexible schedule. She could have put her career on cruise control. Instead, she stepped out on her own and hung out a shingle. Opened her own shop. Pryority Group. Get it?
I thought her impromptu listicle of bro culture warning signs was very interesting because she didn’t start with raw numbers. That’s where my mind goes. If you’re the only woman in a meeting of twelve engineers or tech guys, I don’t care how sensitive and woke they are, there’s prolly gonna be a critical level of bro culture.
Instead, she started with systemic challenges in a male-dominated corporate culture that I hadn’t thought of. Good thing I asked.
For instance, she said if the corporation has no detailed plan for offering women opportunities for advancement and for supporting them once they have advanced – then all the carefully crafted photo ops for the annual report are little more than hollow virtue signaling.
She notices something else I never really knew happened. She said if a woman changes her seat at the table when a man enters a meeting after her, that’s a sign of “bro culture.” Interesting. I know to look for who is at the head of a table and who’s on the outer ring and who is standing in the back. I never thought about shifting positions of power DURING a meeting.
It was only after naming some of these less-obvious signals that Henna started pointing to the traditional metrics – numbers of women in key management positions such a C-suite positions. And of course numbers of women on boards of directors.
Henna Pryor is an Executive Coach and Recruitment Trainer. She’s on this week’s @ManListening Podcast which drops Thursday, January 28, 2021.