Cultures collide at the job

United States
August 28, 2008 9:28pm CST
I am an american woman who has worked at two companiesw here my fellow co-workers and superiors were of a different ethnic background than I. In my conversation with them they express that in their culture, women hold little if any authority within the work place and that is why they find it hard to adjust to working under my authority. i think that if you come in a new culture you should be more open-minded toward every different culture, especially in a country as diverse as America. So do you feel that it's worng for my cowrokers and supervisors to only acknowledge their culture and no one elses, but expect everyone to acknowledge their cultre?
1 person likes this
5 responses
@Hatley (164450)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Aug 08
gigglez21 I have a different idea, if these people from other countries are now citizens does it not make sense to embrace our american culture in the workplace? I worked for twenty some years in the Tustin branch of the orange county library system and my cowo rkers were chinese, japanese, vietnamese, english, and americans and we got along just fantastic as they embrace both their own and our culture and nobody had any problems at all. After all they all called themselves Americans and we had no problems.
• United States
1 Sep 08
i totally agree
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
29 Aug 08
I think it's a very delicate subject. Although in the work place, if you are the supervisor, then you are in charge, but being in charge also means striking a delicate balance between being authoratative and being sensitive to others. Most people who are in authority have a very difficult time doing that while still trying to be productive. I think it is important for you to gain their trust and reassure them that even though you are in charge, you will be no less respectful of them or the cultural differences and, in turn, will gain their respect as well.
• India
29 Aug 08
Most of the cultures do have this wrong belief that women should possess less authority than men....but what makes most of the men think like this? Well they actually think that women dont have that much potential as they have...but excuse me ..women all over the world ..yes even in the eastern cultures like Asia have proved thier capabilities in almost every field..and this is the fact that they are much superior intellectualy and in terms of thier capabilities to manage, lead and bear so many things...and the trend has changed with the wide acceptance of this fact. Now if somebody says that he cannot accept a woman holding higher authority it clearly means he is backword in terms of his thinking and also meanse that cannot accept the relaity..and that leads to hinderence of harmony at work place..badly affects the productivity...by creating issues like Glass Ceiling Effect!!!!!!!!! This issue I dont think is directly related to culture as such...may be the intensity of the misbelief is different but prevails all over the world.It has nothing to do with culture but the kind of atmosphere an organisation creates within it...its about giving respect to one's intelligence, capabilities and potential....ITS ABOUT ATTITUDE...
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
29 Aug 08
Where I work we have many different cultures as well. Sometimes it can be quite comical because the misunderstandings are often hilarious. People can say things that they did not realize were really bad. We don't often fight about culturally different things though. We don't embrace each other's cultures or anything like that, but it doesn't cause disputes. Sometimes we are shocked at things that others do (like drinking bird spit to cure an illness or marrying a girl you only met once just because your parents arranged it), but we just enjoy the diversity rather than think poorly of the different cultures. I think in this country you just have to be prepared for diversity (not you personally, just the "you" in a general sense which includes people working under your supervision).
• Philippines
29 Aug 08
I think there is always, a give and take thing,it is acknowledging both of your existence in that workplace ! I don't have much experience like you do, clashing culture to a certain circumstance but definitely it has nothing to do with race or culture for that matter I mean it is just a 'minor' part of the scenario, cause the main thing is that you must work together to come up with a good outcome. Yet I also think that establishing or building good relationship would be great, maybe take them somewhere for a coffee or a meal. The bottom line there is to respect each other to accomplish harmony in the workplace.