Corporate Bro, yo!

Corporate Bro culture has been getting a lot of press, especially with the ensuing #MeToo movement. One of the best illustrations of corporate Bro culture this blog post, which is a female engineer’s reflections on a long, strange year she spent at ride-sharing company Uber. This blistering missive describes antics you would expect (but be horrified of) at a fraternity house, not at a publicly traded company.

Your company probably isn’t as bad as Uber, Nike or the “Brotopia” that is Silicon Valley. (At least, I hope it’s not.) But you probably have some Bro mansplaining going on in different pockets of the organization, perhaps from the top. It’s important to identify and to root out bro culture at its early stages, so that its toxicity doesn’t leach into your organization.

Key to identifying Bros within your organization is recognizing their distinct traits. Although Bros all share similar characteristics, each type is unique unto itself. That’s why I’ve put together this handy list I call the Bro Taxonomy. See if you can spot any of these among your peers or colleagues.

Sales Bro. Sales Bro is the natural evolution of Jock Bro. He may not have been a Division 1 athlete, but he definitely LOVES sports, and talks about his favorite teams nonstop. He also enjoys using war metaphors. We’re gonna crush the competition! I got my battle cards ready and I’m gonna kill this deal! Sales Bro is loud, bold, and brash. When he starts quoting Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (which we know he never actually read), your eyes glaze over and you stop listening.

Hipster Bro. Hipster Bro sports a man bun and skinny jeans. He only eats organic, free range, cruelty-free avocado toast, and will mansplain to you his reasons for doing so. Hipster Bro usually works in a creative field, and can usually be found in hip ad agencies, or in graphic design groups, where he sips his free-trade craft coffee beverage that definitely only came from a small, locally-sourced coffee shop.

Startup Bro. Startup Bro is young, boorish, and hyper-competitive. He is usually found in tech companies, but it’s not unheard of to find him stalking other fields as well. Startup Bro idolizes Elon Musk, and he hires mostly men, not because there aren’t any qualified female candidates, but because women lack the drive and ambition to fuel the ludicrous growth he has promised to his Angel investors. Startup Bro runs a glorified sweatshop.

Finance Bro. Finance Bro has two distinct habitats—Wall Street and the finance departments of large companies. Finance Bro reeks of male privilege and he’s sad that HR told him that he can’t sexually harass his female colleagues.  With his excessive alcohol use, it is easy to trace Finance Bro’s origins back to Fraternity Bro. As Finance Bro ages, he moves onto scotch and Cuban cigars.

Brogrammer. The Brogrammer is one of the most ubiquitous Bros out there. The Brogrammer is a high-tech geek, a “cool” programmer. He spends his free time playing typical geek games but augments them with copious amounts of booze. Brogrammer has the unusual habit of wearing sunglasses indoors, perhaps because he is blinded by his own fabulousness. See also Tech Bro. 

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