To whom it may concern,
I have not the time nor the energy to Google your title in order to find out what your name is. So I simply include this initial formality in order to attract your attention and make me seem a little more eloquent than I actually am.
I am in fact about to spam you with useless information, completely irrelevant to your Monday morning - your life in general really, and I am unapologetic about this. Because this is my job.
If you don't reply to this email, I'll probably write again - on this very thread. Because I'm a pest, and I think you do have the time to reply to me. And even if you don't, I really don't care.
It's unfortunate that 90% of the emails we receive go something along these lines, and we could sit here all day and remonstrate about how annoying the phrase "just circling back" is, or how unnecessary we deem the "quick follow ups" on a Friday evening. But we won't. We'll let everyone else do the talking.
Below are ten of our favorite pet peeves sent in to us by the masses, enjoy.
Amy Poehler. Photo courtesy of Vulture
“Is your message really that important?”
- by Helen Zuman, writer
Biggest email pet peeve: When someone sends a message marked "high importance" (with a red exclamation point). Sometimes the exclamation point sends the message to my junk folder; other times it just sits in my inbox, annoying me.
“Oh hey, friend, why doesn’t your unsubscribe button work?”
- by Ksenia Newton, marketing manager
My number one biggest pet peeve is the inability to unsubscribe! There are two scenarios that tick me off: 1. The Unsubscribe link is nonexistent or so hard to find within an email that I have to use CTRL+ F in order to find it. 2. The unsubscription path is too long and too complicated. For example, I get an email and click on the unsubscribe link that takes me to a new window that's asking me to LOG IN to update my subscription preferences. I never signed up in the first place - SPAM.
“I’m too Lazy to Spell Your Name Correctly”
- by Shea Drake, tech & business writer
My number one pet peeve is when people misspell my name. It's technically RaShea, and I thought going by Shea might prevent so many misspellings, but no. I still get "Shae" or "Shay" all the time. The spelling is literally in front of someone!!
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
“My gender identity is important”
- by Sydney Liu, CEO of Commaful
I often get emails saying "Ms. Liu" because my first name is "Sydney". I usually politely correct the sender, mentioning that I'm actually a guy.
“Answer my damn questions, plural”
- by Brenda Jones
I hate when you email someone and you ask 4 specific questions.....and they only answer 1 back.
“The - be my friend for 3 days - mass email”
- by Dan Nainan, comedian
Do you ever get these? A mass email from someone who is visiting, say from LA to here in New York and sends out a mass email that they're going to be here. Okay, so if you're too lazy to email me individually, then I have no desire to see you. I just press "delete".
“Please, don’t continue our two-year-old thread. Send a new email”
- by Jacob Paulsen, online marketing consultant
When people find an old email conversation and hit reply but address an entirely new topic that is in no way related to the old email thread or the subject line which is now being reused. This is generally done when people are incapable of using their address book and only know how to find someone's email address by searching through old emails and then again incapable of editing the subject line before hitting send.
“Don’t manipulate me via CC”
- by Dr. Tammy Lenski, mediator and author
The tweaking CC is the copying of an email message to someone the sender believes has power over or influence on the recipient. In conflict at work, for instance, the sender may CC a supervisor or colleague -- or worse, a large chunk of the workplace community. They do it in the name of keeping that other person in the loop, but most of the time it's a thinly veiled way to strong-arm, rattle, or inform on. The tweaking CC raises defensiveness and can escalate tensions quickly.
“I bet you say that to all the Stacys”
- by Stacy Harris, publisher
I hate "personalized" email list blasts that go something like this:
I hope this email finds you well..."
I'm sure the readers of Stacy's Music Row Report will enjoy...
The sender never gives any reason why my readers will enjoy whatever is being pitched but the rest of this generic "pitch" usually follows this bit of false intimacy, from someone I've never met and with whom I've never initiated contact, yet suggests an interest in "my" well-being, courtesy of mail merge.
“The Reply or Reply All conundrum - get it right”
- by Susan Stalte, nutrition consultant
My top email pet peeve is when a person doesn't respond by choosing "reply all!" It shows a lack of attention to detail. Nothing that I would ever mention to a person, but it just requires more work if I've realized that someone was left out of the email chain at one point in the discussion.
Women of the Middle East have made significant strides in the past decade in a number of sectors, but huge gaps remain within the labor market, especially in leadership roles.
A huge number of institutions have researched and quantified trends of and obstacles to the full utilization of females in the marketplace. Gabriela Ramos, is the Chief-of-Staff to The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an alliance of thirty-six governments seeking to improve economic growth and world trade. The OECD reports that increasing participation in the women's labor force could easily result in a $12 trillion jump in the global GDP by the year 2025.
To realize the possibilities, attention needs to be directed toward the most significantly underutilized resource: the women of MENA—the Middle East and North African countries. Educating the men of MENA on the importance of women working and holding leadership roles will improve the economies of those nations and lead to both national and global rewards, such as dissolving cultural stereotypes.
The OECD reports that increasing participation in the women's labor force could easily result in a $12 trillion jump in the global GDP by the year 2025.
In order to put this issue in perspective, the MENA region has the second highest unemployment rate in the world. According to the World Bank, more women than men go to universities, but for many in this region the journey ends with a degree. After graduating, women tend to stay at home due to social and cultural pressures. In 2017, the OECD estimated that unemployment among women is costing some $575 billion annually.
Forbes and Arabian Business have each published lists of the 100 most powerful Arab businesswomen, yet most female entrepreneurs in the Middle East run family businesses. When it comes to managerial positions, the MENA region ranks last with only 13 percent women among the total number of CEOs according to the Swiss-based International Labor Organization (ILO.org publication "Women Business Management – Gaining Momentum in the Middle East and Africa.")
The lopsided tendency that keeps women in family business—remaining tethered to the home even if they are prepared and capable of moving "into the world"—is noted in a report prepared by OECD. The survey provides factual support for the intuitive concern of cultural and political imbalance impeding the progression of women into the workplace who are otherwise fully capable. The nations of Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Jordan and Egypt all prohibit gender discrimination and legislate equal pay for men and women, but the progressive-sounding checklist of their rights fails to impact on "hiring, wages or women's labor force participation." In fact, the report continues, "Women in the six countries receive inferior wages for equal work… and in the private sector women rarely hold management positions or sit on the boards of companies."
This is more than a feminist mantra; MENA's males must learn that they, too, will benefit from accelerating the entry of women into the workforce on all levels. Some projections of value lost because women are unable to work; or conversely the amount of potential revenue are significant.
Elissa Freiha, founder of Womena, the leading empowerment platform in the Middle East, emphasizes the financial benefit of having women in high positions when communicating with men's groups. From a business perspective it has been proven through the market Index provider MSCI.com that companies with more women on their boards deliver 36% better equity than those lacking board diversity.
She challenges companies with the knowledge that, "From a business level, you can have a potential of 63% by incorporating the female perspective on the executive team and the boards of companies."
Freiha agrees that educating MENA's men will turn the tide. "It is difficult to argue culturally that a woman can disconnect herself from the household and community." Her own father, a United Arab Emirates native of Lebanese descent, preferred she get a job in the government, but after one month she quit and went on to create Womena. The fact that this win-lose situation was supported by an open-minded father, further propelled Freiha to start her own business.
"From a business level, you can have a potential of 63% by incorporating the female perspective on the executive team and the boards of companies." - Elissa Frei
While not all men share the open-mindedness of Freiha's dad, a striking number of MENA's women have convincingly demonstrated that the talent pool is skilled, capable and all-around impressive. One such woman is the prominent Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, who is currently serving as a cabinet minister in the United Arab Emirates and previously headed a successful IT strategy company.
Al-Qasimi exemplifies the potential for MENA women in leadership, but how can one example become a cultural norm? Marcello Bonatto, who runs Re: Coded, a program that teaches young people in Turkey, Iraq and Yemen to become technology leaders, believes that multigenerational education is the key. He believes in the importance of educating the parent along with their offspring, "particularly when it comes to women." Bonatto notes the number of conflict-affected youth who have succeeded through his program—a boot camp training in technology.
The United Nations Women alongside Promundo—a Brazil-based NGO that promotes gender-equality and non-violence—sponsored a study titled, "International Men and Gender Equality Survey of the Middle East and North Africa in 2017."
This study surveyed ten thousand men and women between the ages of 18 and 59 across both rural and urban areas in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority. It reports that, "Men expected to control their wives' personal freedoms from what they wear to when the couple has sex." Additionally, a mere one-tenth to one-third of men reported having recently carried out a more conventionally "female task" in their home.
Although the MENA region is steeped in historical tribal culture, the current conflict of gender roles is at a crucial turning point. Masculine power structures still play a huge role in these countries, and despite this obstacle, women are on the rise. But without the support of their nations' men this will continue to be an uphill battle. And if change won't come from the culture, maybe it can come from money. By educating MENA's men about these issues, the estimated $27 trillion that women could bring to their economies might not be a dream. Women have been empowering themselves for years, but it's time for MENA's men to empower its women.