Thursday, July 24, 2014

Drink your way to success?

Yesterday, a link to this story was sent my way.  The premise of the article is that in order for women to succeed in business they need to drink up. The piece was sent my way with the commentary “so sad that women feel they need to do this.” It is. It’s not as sad as people sleeping their way to the top but I’ve written before about bossy bosses. And so whether it’s “pizza for the team”, a golf outing (maybe drinks trump this option) or whisky this frat-style hazing is alive and “unwell” in corporate America. 

I first heard about this mandatory serious drinking from a client based in Asia. When I’d ask how many drinks we could plan on when she was out for work she’d say “a lot”.  When I’d clarify, “so four, five?” “She’d say “much more.” In many situations it’s not just that you must participate but that you have to participate with gusto. As the article said, “a couple Chardonnays over a three hour period isn’t going to cut it” or so it seems. I don't know what's worse the expectation that you have to overindulge or employees taking apparent pride in their ability to do so.

Peer pressure aside, I find it interesting that what you choose to drink makes a statement. “Drink things typically associated with having a penis. Goodbye Skinny Girl margarita, hello Don Julio.  As long as we’re being crass, I am a fan of these so-called “penis” drinks. I love a scotch or mezcal on the rocks but it does elicit comments. As long as we’re being crass, since when does having a vagina obligate you to order a Cosmo? If you've read LBT you know that these "dude drinks" are the way to go, of course I suggest one a night. It's a good thing I own my own business.

Maybe I’m biased but I don’t think you need to down a pizza, a dozen shots or sink a hole in 1 in order to succeed. But you may need to take a piece of pizza, order a stiff drink and go to the golf outing. I’m all for doing the best job you can but that has its limits.
What do you think of the expectation that you have to go “shot for shot” in order to succeed? Have you felt pressured, as an adult, to eat or drink something at work or socially? How do you handle it?


  1. Maybe I'm just being naive, but I really think it's not so hard to have one or two drinks during a work outing if that's what you prefer, and just nurse them for the whole night. I'm sure there are some situations where that would be noticed, but most of the time people are more focused on themselves. And if they've had several tequila shots then they're less likely to be able to count yours.

    I do agree that sipping a Skinnygirl just reminds people that you're, well, a girl. I like a sweet drink from time to time, but I'm like you in that I'm more a fan of a more "masculine" drink, despite my vagina!

  2. Kate @ Savour FareJuly 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    My husband has given up drinking, and works in a company with a STRONG drinking culture. When we go to events, he often orders a club soda with lime and tells people it's a G&T, or we surreptitiously switch drinks. It's kind of a PITA, but it's a real thing.

  3. sad we have to fake drinking or eating "bad" food for the sake of the "culture", right? Thanks for stopping by Kate.