Time was, out of the office networking was the purview of men. Ladies might have been able to break into the corporate world, but they were missing out when it came to off-the-clock bonding with colleagues and/or clients on the golf course, in the strip club, and at the bar at 3AM after drinking for 7 hours straight. Well no longer.

Tired of missing out on the opportunities to get ahead afforded to people who don’t necessarily do the best job at the office but impress the boss with their ability to put back 16 Manhattans during happy hour, businesswomen are going shot for shot with their male counterparts, according to a new study from QZ:

Take one of our participants, Gina, a tech entrepreneur from São Paulo. She told us that her choice of drink, and even the quantity she consumed, was part of her “hard-edged” business performance: “I would make a point of drinking rum, straight up, in a big glass wherever I was at a business networking event,” she said. Poli, one of our subjects from Russia, explained that she was cultivating an expertise in cognac to aid her business ambitions. She described cognac as highly aspirational and business-like—a drink for “confident and experienced women,” she told us.

Em, in New York, proudly exhibits her connoisseurship of hard alcohol, specifically whiskey, in her business networking. She told us it was “empowering” in conversations to suddenly surprise her male counterparts with an expertise in something so typically masculine. In China, where corporate drinking cultures are heavily centered on drinking games involving countless shots of baijiu (the national liquor with an ABV between 40-60%), career-driven women are taking charge and downing their drinks. The women in our study told us that participating in these games was a surefire way of communicating commitment to the job and a competitive edge.

Basically, it’s a 2-pronged approach. Prong 1: drink A LOT. A couple Chardonnays over a 3-hour period isn’t gonna cut it. Start thinking in bottles, not glasses. Prong 2: Drink things typically associated with having a penis. Goodbye Skinny Girl margarita, hello Don Julio. If it gets confusing, just picture the boozehound who sits across from you, sweating Sidecars and barely keeping his life together, the guy whose stories all start with, “So I wake up in this gutter,” and who is up for managing director. That’s what you’re aiming for.

How to get ahead as a businesswoman: Order a whiskey on the rocks [QZ]

31 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
Show all comments ↓

Comments (31)

  1. Posted by Captain Oblivious | July 21, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    I;m sure the drinking helps lubricate the situation.

  2. Posted by Chaz | July 21, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    I fuckin love chicks and they love me!

  3. Posted by Finance tool | July 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    They are still trying to fuck their way to the top believe me. See it every week

  4. Posted by Danker_Banker | July 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Lean in and puke on the table.

    –S. Sandberg

  5. Posted by Guest | July 21, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Alcohol sanitizes the STDs from the inside-out.

  6. Posted by Finance tool | July 21, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Em, from New York likes to pound down a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue then gargle balls until she pukes it back up

  7. Posted by guest | July 21, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Finance Tool: They are still trying to fuck their way to the top believe me. See it every week.
    Reality: No, you don't.
    Finance Tool: Well, not me personally, but a guy I know. Him and them got it on.
    Reality: No, they didn't.
    Finance Tool: No, no, no, they didn't. But you can imagine what it'd be like if they did, right? Huh?

  8. Posted by Captain Oblivious | July 21, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Poli, from russia, got smashed on Don Julio at the company christmas party and complained out loud that Tinder is a waste of time because no one wants to fuck. She was promptly promoted to MD

  9. Posted by guest | July 21, 2014 at 2:06 PM


  10. Posted by Liz | July 21, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    My parents almost named me Gargle Balls!

  11. Posted by Guest | July 21, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    yes, cannot tell but most likely yes, yes

  12. Posted by Captain Oblivious | July 21, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Hilarious Billy Madison reference. Step into the 21st century buddy

  13. Posted by Captain Oblivious | July 21, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Gina, who liked to drink rum straight, proceeded to drink a bottle of captain morgan white. she blacked out and woke up with a pink sock and wearing a cincinnati bow tie. She was named COO one week after

  14. Posted by investorcluzo | July 21, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    She may know her whiskeys, but can that 100 pound frame drink more than 2 glasses of Bookers and stand up at the end of the night?

    -guy who knows 120 proof bourbon will put you to bed quickly

  15. Posted by Chicks w dicks | July 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Orange is the new blackout

  16. Posted by Guest | July 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Nice work on the pink sock.

  17. Posted by Guest | July 21, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Sure they know their whiskeys, but do they know their milkshakes?

  18. Posted by Guesteban | July 21, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    "She described cognac as highly aspirational and business-like"


    – P. Diddy, B. Rhymes, Jay Z., et al.

  19. Posted by DingALing | July 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Falling through a glass ceiling drunk and drinking your way through a glass ceiling are two very different things to keep in mind, business women of the 21st century.

  20. Posted by HotKarl | July 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    That ain't rumchata in the martini glass, sweet-tits….

    – J Gundlach

  21. Posted by Short, But Long | July 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    I think they want her to be laying down by then, no?

  22. Posted by Brian Bozworth, CFA | July 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Biggie Biggie Biggie can't you see
    Sometimes your words just hypnotize me
    And I just love your flashy ways
    Guess that's why they broke, and you're so paid (uh)

    -The 90's

  23. Posted by Quant me maybe... | July 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Drinking is something that women should avoid as they climb past us on the ladder of success.

    >It's hard to climb any ladder drunk. It's folly try to do it in heels.

  24. Posted by Guest | July 21, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Just goes to show they don't have an expense account. Otherwise they'd be drinking Petrus to impress

  25. Posted by Guest | July 21, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  26. Posted by Guest | July 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Yest, but there will be always hard sticks they can rely on to get some traction.

  27. Posted by Finance Tool | July 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Later that evening Poli received an Alabama Hot Pocket, a 20% raise and a SVP title. She now gets drunk 7 days a week

  28. Posted by HotKarl | July 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Given that the 'value' provided by most MBA programs involves school-sponsored happy hours, I'd say a $100k MBA is doing a fine job of preparing the business leaders of tomorrow in light of this article.

    – BSBA, CFA Finance guy

  29. Posted by Kentucky Bomb Squad | July 21, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Bookers = weapons grade Bourbon. You will succeed in all of your endeavors when imbibing in significant quantities.

  30. Posted by E. Texas Gas Trader | July 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    That said, if the ladies really want to impress the good ol' boys, let them get so drunk on the first 9 that they shit themselves on 13th of the TPC at the Woodlands fairway and use their shotgun start partner, the guy from El Paso's golf towel to clean up a bit without telling him.. That will get you into legendary status where I come from.

  31. Posted by Seriously Confused | July 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    I don't want to get you drunk, but, ah, that's a very fine Chardonnay you're not drinking.
    – P. Bateman