9 hilarious tips for making it in a male-dominated workplace

Posted by
Harriet Hall
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As women, we’re well used to hearing about the gender pay gap, the motherhood pay gap and the fact that we’re not being listened to in meetings at work. We’ve been told the answer is in our possession – that we simply need to ‘lean in,’ or adapt the way we speak.

And it's boring. as. hell. 

Which is why we are *obsessed* with these hilarious cartoons by writer and comedian Sarah Cooper – who really hits the nail on the head when it comes to how women are told to navigate a male-dominated workplace.

The satirical images, from Cooper's website The Cooper Review, are painfully relatable – whilst also a little over the top.

From using sports metaphors to better get your point across, to laughing off blatant sexism, Cooper’s cartoons are hilarious. Here, she talks us through how to navigate the slaloms of the boardroom.

If there’s one thing men understand, it’s sports metaphors. If someone did a good job, say it was a home run. If you’re going to the bathroom, say it’s par for the course. Using a sports metaphor is hands down the best way to skate to where the puck’s going to be and keep the ball rolling before you throw in the towel.

You’ll be surprised to learn that high-fiving is a cornerstone of male congratulations in the workplace. Giving a good high five is appropriate in almost any situation – nailing that big pitch, free bagels in the break room, washing your hands after you pee. Slam your high five hard to assert your strength. Make sure no one is looking before you wince in pain. 

The men in your office are all going to talk about cars eventually, so you may as well learn what they known the same way they learned it – by visiting,, and

Most women sound like they’re always asking a question, even when they’re not? Don’t do that. Make everything you say sound like a forceful statement. Your male counterparts might be intimidated by your confidence and eventually avoid you, but they will certainly respect you. 

Men have only two opportunities in life to express themselves fashion-wise: their left sock and their right sock. So focus on his feet and compliment the hell out of them. Make him feel like the hundreds of hours he wastes picking out socks is totally worth it. 

Cover his pen collection with glitter. Switch his regular coffee with decaf. Leave him a voicemail in your boss’ voice saying that his compensation will be reduced significantly next quarter due to market fluctuations. You may think pranking is harsh or insensitive, but you need to rub that compassion right out of your hear if you’re going to fit in. 

You might be asked to give a presentation, go to a business dinner, or attend an event specifically because ‘they need more women,’ always laugh off this complete insult to your worth as a human being and never make a big deal about it. Save your complaints until you’re with your girlfriends and don’t cry about it until you’re home alone in bed where no one can see your tears.

Or Animal House. Or Rudy. Or Hoosiers. Or whatever stupid movie they can’t stop talking about. 

Sarah Cooper's book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart In Meetings, is available to buy now.