Gender and the benefits of a grateful workplace

Written by B.J. Woodstein, PhD


“Thanks so much for your efforts! We really appreciate it!” or “You did a fantastic job on that project!”
Wouldn’t you love it if your colleagues or managers spoke to you like that? Wouldn’t you feel good about going to work and giving it your all if you knew that you would be thanked, appreciated and respected?

Well, new research shows that in workplaces where women are in the majority, this is much more common a scenario. Intriguingly, the implication is that women are more likely to show gratitude – at least in the workplace, but perhaps beyond it as well – than men. The underlying idea here is that women are socialised into being more empathic and caring, and this extends to seeing how hard someone is working and how much they’ve tried, and then feeling grateful for that and wanting to show appreciation. Men, on the other hand, tend to be socialised into being more self-focused, which means they’re more likely to recognise and brag about their own efforts, instead of looking outwards at other people. Someone self-centred might be scared of acknowledging other people, because they might worry that doing so somehow downplays their own contributions. Logically, we probably realise that promoting others makes both them and us feel good, and also makes us look like we’re thoughtful and generous people, but emotionally, some people worry that being grateful to others somehow makes us look bad in comparison.

You might wonder why this matters. After all, you should be doing your best at work anyway, so why do you actually need to be thanked for it? Don’t you do your work in exchange for pay? Isn’t your salary thanks enough? No, frankly, it’s not. As humans, we all need to be seen for who we are. We want our own skills and characteristics to be valued, because that means we’re seen as individuals, rather than as easily replaced automatons. In fact, being specific about what we appreciate about another person actually boosts their self-esteem and builds their confidence. And if they’re happier, that rubs off on us and everyone else around them. What a great cycle!

That increase to people’s self-belief and overall moods should be reason enough to do it, but if you want to look at it from a more cynical perspective, you could say that happier people who feel good about themselves will work more efficiently and more effectively. That makes it good for the workplace too. However, there’s a depressing downside to the idea that women are more grateful. The fact is that even in this modern era, women are still paid less than men. You’d think gender pay gaps would be something from the past, but research shows they are still disturbingly common. Two people doing the same sort of work should obviously be paid the same, regardless of their gender, or any other aspect of their lives, such as their ethnicity or marital status or class. Women may not speak up about the pay gap because they have the feeling that they should be pleased to have any job.

Women more likely than men to suffer from imposter syndrome.

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Spotlight – DOJ Gaminz

This month we spotlight one of our international clients, DOJ Gaminz, a start-up in Nigeria within the video gaming industry. We first spoke to them around International Women’s Day, as they hosted their campaign to #BreakTheBias around female gamers, as they invited the Amazons, a Nigerian female basketball team to their flagship game lounge in Surulere, Lagos.

As they told us “girls also play FIFA”, despite the perception that female gamers did not play sports games and that not all of the women who came into the games lounge were partners to the men who visited, as we were told by Uki Oriakhi, the Gaming Service Officer.

In this relatively new industry, with the video games market in Nigeria being valued at 150 million U.S. dollars in 2022, and with it expecting to rise to 176 million U.S. dollars by 2023 (1), DOJ Gaminz have implemented an EDI strategy which utilises their motto “Amplify your experience”, to tap into the market and cater to the different online and offline users and visitors.

The Amazons female basketball team with DOJ Gaminz team member. International Women’s Day, 8th March 2022.

“Girls also play FIFA”

In what appears to be a predominantly male industry, they have seen similarities and differences between male and female gamers, in line with global studies that perhaps surprisingly indicate that women make up 46% of all gamers. (2)

Currently, they have seen more women using more of the VR games on Oculus than consoles, which include PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Whilst men tend to play more FIFA, in what is viewed as a traditional male game arena, during tournaments, women are often enquiring about taking part. This important observation reflects that sometimes what might be perceived as a gender difference in game play, could also be down to other factors, such as addressing marketing campaigns and who they are geared towards.

Amazon players playing FIFA 22 and NBA 2K22

For example, in the 2017 study conducted by Newzoo on ‘Male and Female Gamers: How Their Similarities and Differences Shape the Games Market’, when looking at the discovery methods core gamers had with finding new games, men were “more likely to be influenced to play a game by a TV or online advert”, compared to women, who tend to discover a game predominantly through friends or family. This finding could suggest that men engage with marketing campaigns more or that marketing campaigns are in fact geared towards men, thereby missing an opportunity to reach women.

DOJ Gaminz International Women’s Day Flyer

DOJ Gaminz adapted their marketing strategy and campaigns, from flyers and social media posts to speak to female gamers and have continued to engage with various communities, to become more inclusive. Through campaigns which include Easter, Father’s Day and Mental Health Awareness, they have thought globally, yet acted locally, where they follow EDI calendars as they relate to Nigeria, and to World International special dates.

Amazon team player on Oculus (VR)

“Not all female gamers are gfs”

DOJ Gaminz staff also enrolled on our CPD course, “The Grassroots of Diversity”, which helped them to continuously offer an inclusive welcome to all of their visitors, further adding to amplifying the gamers experience in the games lounge, whilst pre-empting those yet to come in.

Their next offline, FIFA 22’ competition is set to take place on the 11th and 12th of June, where you can follow them on Instagram at doj_gaminz or connect with them at