Office romances can blossom, but if they don’t, the implications are more likely to be negative if you’re female.
Writer, presenter and commentator Jamila Rizvi has just released her new book, Not Just Lucky, and has been making waves as a voice for women in the workforce.
A former editor-in-chief of Mamamia, Rizvi has also worked in politics for former prime minister Kevin Rudd and has experienced the extremes of both male and female dominated workforces.
Not Just Lucky examines Australian workplaces through the eyes of women, addressing issues with a dash of humour, such as what to do after crying in front of your boss or colleagues, to why sexism and sexual harassment must be taken seriously.
Rizvi, who was named one of Cosmopolitan’s 30 most successful women under 30 two years ago, and one of Melbourne’s most influential women under 40 this year by The Weekly Review, shares her thoughts on sex in the workplace with The Guide.
Hear more from Rizvi at CCI-Boffins books the Business Book Club: Not Just Lucky event on August 18 at the CCI function centre.
Rizvi says office romances are a fact of life and falling in love with someone at work is common.
“We spend a huge proportion of our waking hours at work, often interacting with people who share our values and our interests,” she says.
“It is, however, essential that you enter a romance with a co-worker really carefully, especially because the ramifications of the relationship not working out are more likely to be negative if you’re a woman.”
Rizvi says office romances, according to statistics, are viewed differently depending on gender and in sexist and stereotypical terms but it doesn’t stop them detrimentally affecting the careers of women who have relationships with their co-workers, particularly the boss.
“It’s assumed that men either legitimately fall in love or engage in a relationship with a colleague to boost their ego,” she says.
“Conversely, women are often assumed to be dating within the workplace in an attempt to gain some type of advantage.”
►Enjoy a special Business Book Club breakfast presented by CCI and Boffins Books with Jamila Rizvi on August 18 as she speaks about her new book Not Just Lucky.