I’ve worked at BatesMeron for the better part of my graphic design career. While working here, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside some amazing and talented people. I say “people,” because the BatesMeron team is comprised of about the same number of women and men. However, within the creative department (i.e. writers and designers only), that ratio shifts to more like 4 women to 1 man—me. I consider it a blessing to be able to work so closely with the opposite sex because I’ve learned so much from them. This not only applies to design or work-related conversation, but just everyday things that may have never crossed my mind without them.
Because I’m fortunate to be surrounded by many smart women, it’s only fair that I share the 10 things I’ve learned from working with mostly women.
I was never exactly a master when it came to grammar, punctuation or especially spelling, but after working closely with the copywriters I’m learning all about those things without feeling like I’m back in high school. The women of the copywriting department take every opportunity to justify edits, such as the reasons behind why there should be an m-dash instead of an n-dash, or why numbers up to 10 get spelled out. You know, those very important little tidbits that subconsciously become engraved in your brain.
- POPULAR CULTURE
On a daily basis, I overhear conversations about the most recent pop culture news. From what Queen Beyonce wore at the Grammy’s to Angelina Jolie’s “dumb” wedding veil, I’m privy to it all. No matter how frivolous, I’m grateful to always be informed of the latest “news.”
- SWEET-TOOTH CENTRAL
One of the most important things I’ve learned from working with mostly women is that they love snacks. No matter the time of day, or what kind of day they’re having, the women I work with light up at the sight of cookies, chocolate candy and frosted animal cookies (I refer to them as FACs). To the men out there reading this, if you want to get along with your female colleagues make sure to always have a stash of sweet treats on hand.
- SOCIAL MEDIA
Prior to BatesMeron, the only social media platform I used was Facebook—and I wasn’t really up to date with that to begin with. The women of BMSD have opened my eyes to some pretty addictive forms of social media. Instagram, for example, is one of the apps introduced to me by them. After a “quick,” 30-minute tutorial I was snapping and filtering photos left and right, and slapping on hashtags (a separate tutorial was required for that). They’ve also got me somewhat fluent in Pinterest—crazy, I know.
- GIF GIFTS
I’ve been known to add a GIF or two into the body of my internal emails, you know, just to spruce them up a bit. Although I was not expecting my creative team to be so easily amused by what I consider a very simple process (find a GIF online, then copy and paste it into the body of an email), the women here decided I was some sort of embedding genius.
- IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
This one is pretty straightforward: they just pay more attention to details than me.
- FREE (OFTEN UNSOLICITED) GIRLFRIEND ADVICE
It’s not that I reach out to my coworkers for advice about my relationship, but just hearing them talk about the activities they do with their significant others sparks my interest—and sometimes I use it for my benefit. If I’m struggling to think of cool date ideas or new restaurants the BMSD ladies influence my decisions without even knowing it.
As you likely know by now, the BMSD mascot is a Yorkie named Sukhi. After spending a lot of time with her and other dogs owned by the women of BMSD, I started considering a puppy of my own. The response was unexpected, to say the least. These women love their dogs and are full of recommendations. When I asked for some advice, I was given an extensive email outlining the steps of getting a dog. I provided nominal information and in turn, received a detailed list of the “best” dogs, complete with images and GIFs (a taste of my own medicine, perhaps?)
- DRAFTING EMAILS
My emails are short and to the point, but often have little to no extra information. The BMSD copywriters have been kind enough to take the time with me as I draft messages to make sure clients know that their needs are being addressed thoughtfully. I’ll admit it, they are way better at expressing ideas and details in email—and probably in person—than I am.
- THEY ARE ALWAYS RIGHT
Don’t bother wasting your time arguing with them. Women are always right, and even when they’re not, it’s in your best interest to let them think they are and leave it at that. Editor’s note: women are always right.
Believe me, these are not the only things I’ve learned from working with women, but I just wanted to share a few that stood out to me. What would you add?
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