Women. Corporate America. Do they mix? Can they mix when God has told women to be workers at home (Titus 2:5)? Absolutely, they can mix.
Women have been working since women were invented. It’s only been in the last hundred years or so that women have even been able to work in factories or corporate life. Hundreds of years ago, we had more of an agricultural society. Women would work along side the rest of their family – growing crops, ranching cattle, making goods to be sold at market, whatever the family business is. Now that our culture isn’t so much that anymore, women have opportunities to work other places. And yet, should they?
I think they should. I’m in corporate America. And I have been since I was 18. I’ve been an intern, applications engineer, software developer, development manager, and a now a Business Analyst. (Note: I didn’t say women have to work outside the home (married or not), I just said they can.)
Is there any difference between women in corporate America and men in Corporate America? Should there be? I don’t know. I do know that Scripture tells us how we should be in all areas of our life – business world shouldn’t be any exception.
Verses that come to mind are:
“Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.” (Romans 12:16)
“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” (Romans 14:19)
“Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:26)
“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
“Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices…” (Colossians 3:9)
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
These verses are mostly referring to the way we should treat those inside the church, but I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t treat anyone these ways. (Plus, you’re bound to have Christians as co-workers).
Mars Hill had some tips on how to be a Christian businesswoman. They’re just okay, but check them out. It made me think of what tips that I’d give to a Christian woman who was working in Corporate life. Here they are:
1) Be kind. Seriously…so many people these days are just unkind to others. Don’t say things that are mean to or about your co-workers.
2) Compliment like there’s no tomorrow. Be the encouraging person. You don’t have to be a Pollyanna and say that everything is perfect, but when someone does something well, tell them. To their face. And tell their manager that you appreciate that person.
3) Be gentle, but be honest. So many people don’t really want to be honest. They’ll just tell you what you want to hear. That doesn’t get anyone anywhere. If something isn’t going well, speak up. Just be kind and respectful and do it in the proper context.
4) Work hard. Your employer is paying you to do a job, so do it well. Yes, we’re Christians and our highest purpose is to glorify God. A great way to glorify Him and keep your reputation is not be known as lazy. If you’re lazy, then try to give someone the gospel, it’s a hard sell.
5) Let people know you’re a Christian ASAP. You don’t have to announce it on your first day. “Nice to meet you, Sally. My name’s Jayme and I love Jesus.” But finding small ways to communicate your faith early on will save you LOADS of trouble. Chances are, they won’t tell you jokes you won’t want to hear. It will just prevent lots of uncomfortableness on both parts.
6) Remember the spouses. You may have one. You may not. Your co-workers may have one. They may not. But be mindful of the people you interact with at work and the way you interact with them. Any time a man and a woman spend alot of time together, intimacy can develop. Be wise. Don’t go to lunch one-on-one with someone of the opposite sex unless you need to. Be careful when traveling. Not only do you not want something to happen (or your part or his), you want to even abstain from the appearance that something is happening.
7) Go home. Really, go home. Don’t work insane hours. I get the whole “It’s go-live weekend/counting inventory/day after Thanksgiving sale, so I have to work a few extra hours.” That’s fine – part of being a good employee. What’s not good for you is working 60 hours/week, every week. If that’s what you have to do to compete in your job at your company, it’s not worth it. You were called as a woman to be a worker at home and to show hospitality regardless of how you spend your 8-5.
8) Bake cookies. Or brownies or whatnot. Now, don’t do this everyday, but bring in things for your co-workers. Especially to celebrate a job well done or a birthday or a random “It’s Tuesday!” kind of thing. People like people who bring cookies. And it gives you an opportunity to talk to people when they come over to get one.
Those are my tips. Take em for what they’re worth!