It can be difficult to conceptualize what people actually mean when they talk about a "masculine" workplace culture. Most obviously, it means the gender pay gap, maternity discrimination and sexual harassment, but that's not all. Women are often held back by more insidious behaviours – we may not even realize what's happening until it's too late – and it (literally) pays to know the actions we should be wary of, and how to respond when we're on the receiving end.
A new yearlong study from Cambridge University, involving 5,814 UK employees (54% men and 47% women), outlines seven ways in which women are blocked in their careers by men, and the findings aren't as obvious as you might predict. The study, "Collaborating with Men", by researchers at Cambridge's Murray Edwards College, found that workplace culture issues were a greater barrier to career advancement than the challenge of balancing work and family life, which is really saying something.
Three quarters of women reported they feel held back by their workplace culture, with half of senior women saying their workplace 'often' or 'always' presents career advancement challenges for women. Refinery29 asked the study's lead researcher, Dr Jill Armstrong, for some practicable tips for overcoming these hurdles.