We Need to Talk - Resources
The version of the browser you are using is no longer supported. Please upgrade to a supported browser.Dismiss

View only
What is your gender?Is there an example (positive or negative) you can share about a challenge you or someone on your team faced and how it was dealt with?
Female2 of my female colleagues were singled out and put on a 45 day probation, when one of them has 45% YTD comps.
FemaleA team I was joining where I'd be one of 3 women in a 50 person office used Hoopla to celebrate deals and I was asked to pick a song to play when I got a win. I had a first mind to pick a song that featured a female voice and was unapologetically "girlie" so that when I won, those men would have to listen to a woman's voice in an environment where we are often silenced. Then doubt crept in. What if they say "oh of course she picked a girlie song." And this gives them license to further dismiss and belittle femininity? These are rather deep questions for a Hoopla song selection, but this was my actual thought process and one I'm sure men do not face. Ultimately I chickened out and chose a cocky Jay Z song to fit in. Dont get me wrong, I love Jay Z. But part of me knows this was a copout, a concession and a suppression of my initial instincts to lean into being my most authentic female self and being heard. I regret it to this day.
FemaleAbout half of our sales engineers and a fifth of our tech support team are women. I've sat in meetings where the client talks straight past the woman with questions she is clearly most qualified to answer. Our company has been successful with the guy redirecting the question--example: "Jane, how would you address this?"--but it doesn't always get the customer to ask questions to the right person.
femaleas a female technical resource, sometimes I feel like I'm immediately discredited.
FemaleChallenge: Constant job threat and harassment without any oversight. Man's boss was in his corner. Result: Quit job, haven't been able to find employment since.
FemaleI am a manger in an automotive repair facility, I am also the only woman employed here due to available skill sets. I've had to pull production people off the floor to deal with an escalating situation due to a customers refusal to speak to a woman. I've briefed and trained key personel to handle these situations when my customers view my gender as the sum of my skills and intelligence.
FemaleI am currently being challenged in an area of leadership being extremely disrespectful. We have a very lax environment and recently one manager decided to create a meme about me. He shared this in front of the entire sales team and I felt like it undermined my authority and what I do at the company. No one said a word, and when I spoke with him - he did not think he did anything wrong.
FemaleI am friends with women who are in career paths that are notorious for glass ceilings for women (ex. mechanical engineering). How can they break the glass cieling?
FemaleI can say that as a woman in field sales who also has children I'm always asked if traveling is hard for me with a family and if I miss my children when I'm traveling and who takes care of them, I know there is no bad intent in asking these questions, but it continues to create basis as I've never heard anyone ask any of my male colleagues these same types of questions who have families. I also know even mentioning my family in the interview process hurts my potential for landing a job with travel. I always make it a point to bring them up regardless because ultimately I don't want to work for a company who would make decisions based on this, but I know others are not as fortunate.
FemaleI guess I'm sick of hearing the "his intention was good" excuse. Regardless of intention, you should know how to act appropriately in this day and age. I've confronted two men who have made inappropriate comments to me or my directs and the excuse is always "oh she took it the wrong way, I meant it as a compliment". That excuse is old and she didn't take it the wrong way, YOU said the wrong thing and it gets annoying trying to educate someone who thinks women are being overly sensitive
FemaleI had a new male boss that once hired decided that out of my team of 15 with (2 women/13 men) that the only 2 that needed to be fired were the 2 women on my team. He said they were weak and couldn’t handle the pressure. I pointed out the fact that he was measuring the women differently. I said it to him and other leaders. He had a history of removing women. Everyone knew it, but nobody did anything. I left and helped the other two women find different jobs.
FemaleI have a current ongoing challenge: I am having a lot of push back from male colleagues who have previously been in charge of my patch, who won’t leave it even though I am the new Sales rep. and responsible for the account. One colleague continues conversations with my customers and have the customer/CEO write back to my managers saying they would like to get in touch with Sales rep. Who knows the business and pricing model. I myself have not been in touch with the company/ customer as they are not answering my emails or phone calls. They are only responding to my colleague when he reaches out. What Can I do?
FemaleI have seen people earn rewards and getting special callouts simply bc they reply to emails late at night or have their Slack "green light on" this leads me to believe that you can only get ahead or have a special shoutout if you are also choosing to sacrifice your personal priorities.
FemaleI just joined a new team that specifically was looking to build a non bro culture. One of the major reasons I joined. How do we highlight that? Use it in
FemaleI often get called “PC” as an insult for speaking up when I hear sexist comments. So far it has not been dealt with but I feel isolated
femaleI once entered a booth at a Facilities Management show (obviously male dominated industry), filled with men working the booth and talking among themselves with no other prospects in the booth. I was shocked that I wandered around the booth, reviewing their display and waiting for someone to engage me. Eventually I spoke up and asked if anyone could answer a question. It was appalling that the "bro" sales people did not even recognize the opportunity to speak with a female as a potential customer. At that same show, I walked into and out of several booths without being addressed at all.
FemaleI spoke to the CEO about my sales manager that was treating me differently from the team. He was regularly critical of my performance and told me on several occasions that I was too sensitive and that I spend too much time on "fluff" on a demo which is his reference to building rapport.

I also was the only woman on a sales team with 7 men. We hired 5 more AE's...all men. I asked why we didn't hire any women and I was told that there were no qualified women that applied. I quit 2 weeks later because I my CEO didn't take any action against the Sales Manager and I experience increased isolation after I spoke up about the lack of women on our team.
FemaleI was asked how I can keep up with the sales schedule because I was a single mom with kid responsibilities. I said "I just do it. Just like all my mom clients. I AM my client." That shut him up. :)
FemaleI was told several times to dye my hair, to wear heels in the field (in Los Angeles, walking all day), to keep my makeup on point, and I've had difficulty with all of that.
FemaleI’m a highly specialized technical sales professional and I am often brought into a deal as a “technical expert”. However, instead of being strategically consulted throughout the client engagement, I’m often used tactically to troubleshoot issues, perform grunt work, and just “shut up and get’r done”. In one example when faced with this challenge, I decided to let go of my need to align with the client’s decision-makers and started to get closer to client’s lower-level technical people. I rolled up my sleeves and got into the trenches with them, developed deep trust and covered new opportunity while helping them to resolve critical implementation roadblocks. This resulted in creating a groundswell and internal demand for our solution so strong that the decision-makers had very little ability to say no to our product and were even pressured to make a larger purchasing commitment and out our solution across many divisions.
FemaleI’ve not been in private sector sales, but this Bro Culture permeates every industry
FemaleI'd rather not share.
FemaleMy company has recently been hiring a lot of men in sales leadership from Salesforce which has had a hugely negative impact on the culture. Salesforce is very bro culture and by hiring them it has infiltrated my company which did not used to be like that. Many people have brought this to the attention of the leadership team and the company is openly receptive to feedback and trying to address it. I want to determine how I can help be a part of that change.
Femalemy teammate has said "faggot" twice, among many other gross things, and I was too shocked, too new to the team and scared to say anything at the time so it wasn't addressed.
FemaleNegative: shut down and shut up
FemaleNone that I can think of
FemaleNot specifically
FemaleNot that comes to mind
FemaleNot that i can think of
FemaleNothing that I think I could explain properly
FemaleOne example that has always stuck in my mind was when I was trying to get my point across in a very passionate manner. One of my male colleagues said, “Whoa, no need to get so emotional.” And I said, “It’s funny that when you try and prove your point by raising your voice, you’re thought of as dedicated and passionate. But when I raise my voice, I’m emotional.” Then there were crickets...and this was in front of a female CEO. I think even some females are more confident in their male coleagues. It’s baffling to me
FemaleOne of the male leaders in our company made a passive aggressive remark about a woman in our company in the name of a “joke”.. nobody knew how to deal with it. It was not funny.
FemaleSee question above! Answers 3 and 4
FemaleSometimes I perceive I have higher workloads compared to teammates because I'm a 'yes person' or 'team player'. How can I compensate without working overtime, or being a 'they can't' or 'no person'? For example, a previous quarter I was really involved w/ my sales team and my manager approached me about a team lead position. Unfortunately, after putting in more hours towards that, my performance suffered and two other male reps were promoted. Obviously multiple factors contribute to this, but I wonder what I should have communicated better?
FemaleUnfortunately, most of my interactions with my sales team have been negative. Our sales team lead has a hard time interacting with women, to the point where he can't look us in the eye when we have one-on-one discussions. We had a catch-up during a sales retreat where I got more in depth about how the set of goals he wanted me to aim for contradicted what our CEO had asked me to work on, and rather than working with me to find a balance or way to present the re-alignment of these goals, he would repeat himself over and over without taking anything I said into account, even when I was agreeing with him. It ended up in a wasted hour, and I went back to the CEO solo to figure out how best to move forward.
FemaleWe have a boys club here at my company and they are notorious for speaking over the women. The same 4 men do it all the time. It’s not enough for me to say “Hold on a minute Jimmy, let Jill finish speaking, I want to hear what she has to say”
femaleWhen a manager comes to you after a year of placing notes in SF in the contact owner page where she originally told you to place them; coming to you after a year and telling you that you need to copy them all and put them in SF as tasks as if you made notes for each call you made.
FemaleWhen I asked about filling a vacant sales manager role, I was told to go out and sign some accounts to prove I could sell. I ultimately did not receive the position and felt like I was set up to fail.
FemaleWhen I came back from maternity leave, I was told that 'it wasn't good timing' for a promotion and was passed up by 2 male counterparts with less experience and success, but who had the 'relationship' with the hiring manager.
FemaleWill think about that
femaleyes, former company deal with culture issues after hearing numerous complaints from women on the team but people just stopped talking instead of simply having work-appropriate conversations
MLeading a small sales team has given me the opportunity to do things differently and the right way. The women on my team consistently feel empowered to tell me when I or someone around me is out of line. It took time but they understand there are no repercussions and I am at a stage of humble personal growth to listen and accept their view. I won't always agree but I will take it in and work together. In this case the small, tight team has benefits. What we lack in scale we make up for big time in quality and kindness.
mSee previous response
MWorking for a company where you are forced to shove something down someones throat over the phone.

Constant battle looking for a different approach and using strategies that I learned from following JB.

Eventually, the only option was to leave and find a real sales role working for a company that provides a product/service that helps other companies and people want to talk about.
male10000 foot view. It starts with leadership and hiring. we can celebrate wins and each other without marginalizing peoples differences.
MaleBeing grabbed inappropriately, spoken to in a vulgar manner constantly.
MaleComing from a leadership role it is always very concerning when a member of my team (female) feels threatened by other members of the sales team (male) through comments or ways of interacting in groups. In one scenario at a sales kick off one of the males actually stroked one of my (female) BDRs hair. This was not acceptable, but the sales manager of the sales person (male) made it very difficult when I tried to put the problem in front of HR. We did, eventually make it an HR discussion and the person was given a warning but the process was very hard and the girl involved was really unwilling to be "interviewed" about it by HR.
malei dont like to travel with females on business trips because of #metoo
MaleI had an underperforming woman on my sales team. When I approached my director about putting her on a PIP I was told not to because we do not have enough women in the office.
MaleI had the challenge of not being bro enough to the point that there was a rumor that I was gay and I found out about it months later. I say challenge, but it didn't bother me. I'm not gay and I am comfortable in my manhood. It's 2018, this shouldn't be happening.
MaleI have a high performing female employee that is very active on social media. She has friended coworkers and clients on her accounts. She has been known to "work by the pool" and make casual posts on her personal social media accounts in revealing bathing suits. Her male peers have brought it to my attention saying it's inappropriate as they then share it around the office.

I told them if they were bothered to not connect with her on social media. It's her personal account. She can post what she wants there. They seem to enjoy watching her videos but then call it inappropriate. Seems like a double standard. Am I right or wrong?
MaleI think the challenge I face as a man is that I am not always aware of how easily I can cause offence, even though I NEVER intend to
MaleI went from a team of all guys to 5 guys and 5 women. things really improved but I still get surprised when women have no issue talking and laughing about strip clubs, porn, etc. What to do in those situations?
MaleI work with a diverse background of men and women from different cultures, I don't know what they've had to overcome as a woman. I'd like to understand more.
MaleMy female colleague faced constant advances from her prospects and as a result never felt safe turning on her webcam for video calls. How can we help support her and express to prospects that it is not ok to treat her that way?
maleMy mentor deals with men who don't take her opinion as serious as her male counterparts. She does a great job of focusing on getting the desired outcome instead of crying foul or demanding credit.
maleno - see above recruiting
MaleSales strategy and how we prospect clients. We agree the best idea wins no matter who it comes from so it eliminates ego driven brainstorming sessions.
MaleSomeone who shared a WeWork space with my company, was being verbally harassed by a co-worker of mine. What she told me happened, dropped my jaw, as he repeatedly made advances and sexual references. This is a married man, who was our CMO. No power over her (other than possibly physical), which maybe made him feel impervious to any possible retaliation, but he wasn't. We fired him.
maleThe experience above, was never dealt with... Still works there. There was so much anecdotal evidence, reports to HR, was just swept under the rug
Malethere is definitely a "bro" culture out there-solution is simple-"golden rule" treat others they way you would like to be treated-no wiggle room
MaleUnfortunately don't have any females on our seed stage team right now.. (8 total, this is a problem to me). So the challenge I face is how I can structurally help my co-founders bring in the talent we need.
maleUnfortunately no
malewe have a complex "upsell" vs "cross-sell" setup in our sales org currently - has caused internal battles - I have treated each potential conflict separately via conversation (rather than email), heard both sides, and it has generally helped.
MaleWhile this is not a sales team example, I can share how I have had to work with men from other countries that see women differently, often times in sub-servant role. Therefore, globalization of business bring men and women together from various cultural backgrounds, usually making it harder on women. How should women or management deal with this?
MaleYes. It was implied at an after event dinner that because a prospect (a male) had travelled from another country to visit my female colleague to attend the event that this had somehow been achieved by trading sexual favours and that he was only visiting to 'get some' and not to learn more about our products/services and attend an industry leading conference on a subject he was passionate about. Needless to say this implication was devastating to my colleague and after confiding in me I suggested she raise this with our VP & HR to address it immediately who took further action.