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.