Book Advises Female Employees to ‘Seduce the Boys’ Club’

Written by Annie-Rose Strasser

New details have emerged from a bias lawsuit filed by three former employees of Merrill Lynch against the company, which alleges that during training they were instructed to read a book called “Seducing the Boys Club: Uncensored Tactics From a Woman at the Top” and emulate its advice.

The tips in the book, published by New York Magazine’s The Cut, are truly shocking. “I play on [men's] masculine pride and natural instincts to protect the weaker sex,” says a section of the book advising women on how to get men to do their work. “Unless he is morbidly obese, there is no man on earth who won’t puff up at this sentence: Wow, you look great. Been working out?” suggests a portion on diffusing tense situations.

The book also tells the story of a woman who tried to get in with the men in the office: ”So she stocked her mini fridge with beer along with her designer water; she kept a big bowl of candy on her desk, she brought in games like boggle and checkers. Pretty soon the boys were hanging out in her office, and when they discussed things of business interest, Maggie was right there with them.”

According to the New York Post, the women “were also pressured to attend gals-only events on topics like ‘dressing for success’ and ‘preparing healthy meals while working full-time.’” The women also report being told to be more “perky” or “bubbly,” and one even says a manager told her to “stick to her knitting” when she tried to bring in a client.

These demeaning and rather tragic pieces of advice might well be a reality for many women on male-dominated Wall Street. It’s a known Boys’ Club, and Wall Streeters have a track record of using women as scapegoats, instead of treating them as equals. Women are vastly underrepresented in the finance industry — much more so than in other areas — and hold only 8.6 percent of executive officer jobs. Women also earn less than men in finance; the top six jobs with the biggest pay gaps are financial.

This post was originally published at ThinkProgress.

Photo from Thinkstock

93 comments

trina firey
Trina D. firey1 years ago

Employers who advocate and distribute junk like this are committing, enabling and perpetuating gender discrimination in the workplace.

It's unbelievable how little things have changed for females in America. It's analogous to the acceptance of minorities rights, only women are fareing worse. That's crazy! Women make up half of the U.S. population!

The question is "What ARE women doing to change this nonsense?" The answer is "Nothing!"

Women: Please return stuff like this to your managers or bosses and let them know the content has no relevance to you or your current position.

trina firey
Trina D. firey1 years ago

This is an "older" article (2013), but, it could have been written 50 years ago and still be relevant. I don't know how gender discrimination of this magnitude is acceptable to so many woman. It has a huge, negative impact on women, children, men and our nation/world. Women are electing the politicians who vote against fair pay. They have to be! It makes me furious!!! There's no excuse for women to get less pay for equal work or less opportunity for advancement!

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jenevieve P.
Past Member 3 years ago

Ba hahahahahahahhaha! Oh well!! ..
A girl's gotta do what a girls's gotta do! Who the hell said stocking the employee fridge meant she was "seducing" the boys on the job? Good grief,.. what happens if she puts a bottle of wine or champagne in the fridge for her boss and colleagues for a pending success or acquistion that comes through? What ever happened to a beer at the end of the day, OFF the Clock with the boyz? Sometimes a girl's gotta do what she has to do to fit in with the culture, even though it is more appropriate and safely ethical to go have a beer off the premise. Could it be that "seducing" is being construed for "getting along?"

John S.
John Sherratt3 years ago

The book also tells the story of a woman who tried to get in with the men in the office: ”So she stocked her mini fridge with beer along with her designer water; she kept a big bowl of candy on her desk, she brought in games like boggle and checkers. Pretty soon the boys were hanging out in her office, and when they discussed things of business interest, Maggie was right there with them.”

And why would that not be a smart strategy to stay informed and to expand your network?

Athena F.
Athena F3 years ago

Do not accept this behaviour. Speak out against rape-culture and anti-women mentalities. The time is now.

Walter G.
Walter G3 years ago

And now over to NY's PS 142 where students are singing, "ITS SO OUTRAGEOUS, ITS MERRILL CONTAGEOUS!"

Walter G.
Walter G3 years ago

Well, looky here! This is one of the entities which f----d the public, and now, the horny bastards have turned inwards and are f-----g themselves! Anyone keeping track of the HIV and full blown cases? “New CEO found dead in chair from 'unnatural causes.' 'CSI refuses to examine body, now decomposing in chair.” In an interview for “Rolling Stone,” the secretary opined that “So much rotten stuff is hidden in closets around here nobody noticed the additional stink!” This reporter noticed a new sign on the workstation screens reminding the viewer to “CYA Dokta!”

Olivia S.
Past Member 3 years ago

I've always been against book burning...until now. Thanks for posting.

Annelies Haussler

A woman who aspires to work in the cut-throat environment of greed, dominance and manipulation that is Wall Street is really no better than any of the men in the same arena. And if that's the case, then this is *exactly* the book such a woman needs to read because it puts into action all of the character flaws that make the men in this field successful.

I'm sick of everyone painting women with the same earth mother vegan-nurturing-victim-goddess of nobility brush. There are shit women out there who would suck the soul out of anyone, given a chance, and who share the same insatiable lust and hunger for power that drives a rapist. Women just get away with it because they're not physically penetrating anyone.