In recent years, Jamaica has become a marker of excellence for women in the workplace. 

According to a study by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Jamaica’s female managerial population stood at 59.3 percent, which made it the most female-friendly work culture in the world. Contrasting this with countries such as Pakistan (3 percent), Jordan (5.1 percent) and the US, which is only around 40 percent, Jamaica is one of only three countries in the world where your boss is more likely to be a woman than a man (with Colombia and Saint Lucia both standing at 53 percent).

Relaxed Attitude Holding Men Back

Naturally, there are many reasons why women are now starting to rise up the ranks of the work world. However, one of the main personality stereotypes that may have contributed to men’s “decline” is their infamous “relaxed” attitude. In 2015, shop owner Ravn Rae told The Jakarta Post that it’s typically the case that men are more relaxed and this is one of the reasons they aren’t progressing as quickly as women.

“Caribbean culture has a laid-back, slow-paced vibe. But generally, Caribbean men are a lot more relaxed than the women,” said Rae.

If this was a game of poker, then men would be classed as the “fish” while women would be the “sharks”. Indeed, if you look at the poker personality test devised by 888poker, a fish is essentially an inexperienced player or one that doesn’t have a grasp of basic poker strategy. The end result is a player that’s more prone to playing any hand they can in a very lazy way and not really thinking about what they’re doing.

In contrast, a shark is a “predator”, a calculated player that likes to “lay traps” for those that step out of line. Essentially, a shark is a player that knows the game and takes time to think, focus and work hard to win each pot. To put it another way, women appear to have assumed the role of sharks in the workplace. By taking advantage of the “relaxed” attitude prevalent in males and working hard towards a single goal, women have given themselves the edge.

Men Need to do More to Avoid Falling Behind

Okay, so what does all this mean for Jamaican males? In simple terms, it means they need to start thinking more like sharks and less like fish. Living a life without any stress is great and there’s certainly nothing wrong with women taking charge in the workplace. However, this recent trend has coincided with a decrease in the academic achievements of males.

Women currently outnumber men by a ratio of 70 to 30 at the University of West Indies and some reports suggest that education is now being used as an attack against young males. Speaking to the UK’s Daily Mail, Jamaican teacher Wayne Campbell suggested that “thug culture” was holding young men back.

“It’s almost as if manhood and masculinity have been hijacked by a thug culture far removed from education,” said Campbell.

There’s no doubt that the rise of women has been fantastic for female culture both in Jamaica and the world at large. However, it seems that it’s also clouding the issues that young men are now facing with regards to crime and academic shortcomings.

At this point, it seems as though male culture across the country needs to change or else men face becoming fish food. Parity is paramount in any culture and, while the latest trends don’t apply to all males, it does seem as though a culture shift needs to happen. If men want to be as successful as women have become, they need to start thinking more like sharks and less like fish.

Written by – Edward Walker

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In recent years, Jamaica has become a marker of excellence for women in the workplace. According to a study by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Jamaica's female managerial population stood at 59.3 percent, which made it the most female-friendly work culture in the world. Contrasting this with countries such as Pakistan...

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