The Different Career Pressures Women And Men Feel

April 11, 2018  |  
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I’m always fascinated by listening to people talk about what drives them. I have plenty of male and female friends, all in entirely different fields and holding different statuses in their industries. I have friends who are public school teachers, and friends who come up with curriculums for prestigious universities. I have friends who come up with marketing plans for apps and friends who stay up all night designing those apps. Regardless of the job, there have been some themes I’ve found to be true in how men versus women think about their careers. I even have to admit that I absolutely live up to many of those themes. They aren’t right or wrong—they’re just different. It could be very helpful for men and women to understand where the other comes from when it comes to careers and business since we do, after all, work together. Here are the different career pressures men and women feel.

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Men: Provide for partners and family

When men think of using their money to provide for others, their significant other is usually a part of that. In fact, even if a man is single, he’ll talk about making enough money to support a hypothetical spouse and children.


Women: Provide for family

Women don’t seem to feel the pressure to support a romantic partner. We’ll definitely talk about making enough money so that our children can have stable and happy lives, but we don’t tend to imagine having to support an unemployed partner. african american business man posing isolated. Young confident businessman in suit. Success, professional concept

Men: Impress others

Men think a lot about how their peers see them. Actually, they think a lot about how everyone in their industry sees them. They’re acutely aware of where they stand in the eyes of others—including those beneath them, above them, and beside them.

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Women: Impress ourselves

Women tend to just want to impress and surprise ourselves. If we are proud of the way we live and the way we work, we don’t really care if others consider us powerful or of a high status. Perhaps we do but…we don’t think about it as much.

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Men: Be better than others

Men are more competitive. They just are. A lot of my male friends can fixate on the fact that there is just one person out there who is slightly more successful or better at what they do, even if they’re great at what they do.


Women: Be better than ourselves, yesterday

Women tend to just want to be better than we were, ourselves, the day before. If we take on a challenge and complete it, then we feel accomplished. We don’t fixate as much on peers who did it faster or better.

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Men: Be influential

Men like to be influential. They like their name to open doors. They want people to follow in their footsteps and even copy them. That’s a high form of flattery to a man.

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Women: Be inspiring

Women want to be inspiring. We don’t necessarily need or want people to try to do what we did—but we hope we inspire people to go after their own goals, whatever those may be.

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Men: Be the boss

Maybe I’m not supposed to say this but, here we go: a lot of men are not comfortable with having female superiors. In addition, since they’re competitive, they often clamor for that one spot of which there is only one and they have no superiors. In other words, they want to be the boss—the top one at their job.

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Women: Be a boss

Women want to be a boss. They are more of team players. They want to be a member of a tier of powerful people who work together to be leaders. We don’t need to be the one and only boss.

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Men: Make SO much money

This probably stems from the feeling that they need to provide for partners and children but, men seem to need more money to feel content. They want much more money than they’ll actually need—a cushion so large, they barely notice it’s there.

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Women: Make enough, plus a little more

Honestly, women just don’t seem as consumed with financial gain. If our basic needs are met, and we can enjoy reasonable luxuries like nice dinner and occasional vacations, we feel we’ve made it. We don’t need to have enough money to buy three houses, just because, sitting in our bank accounts.

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Men: Make parents proud

Men want to make their parents proud. They want their parents to sit around with other parents and brag about how their son is the best in his field. They want to be a human trophy for their parents.

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Women: Alleviate parent’s worries

Women tend to just think about making sure their parents aren’t worried about them. I can attest to that, and a big part of it is how parents treat women. My parents talk to me more about how to not face this or that problem, more than they talk to me about reaching for the stars.


Men: Be powerful

Status, position, clout—power. These items seem to be important for men. Even if they won’t assert that power or use that clout, they want to have it.


Women: Follow your dreams

Women are a bit more introverted in their ambitions. We don’t think as much about thousands of strangers knowing our names or envying us. If we follow our dreams, we’re pretty damn proud of ourselves.

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