Could testosterone-fuelled nicknames be holding you back at work

Nicknames are an integral part of our culture, often they’re given to us from a young age and can impact us in a big way, often making us feel welcome and bonded. Nicknames for males are often variations of their surnames. How many women do you know that go solely by their surname? This male ritual can bond groups of males in the workplace and unintentionally alienate females in the office

Cornell University undertook research, with psychologists finding that males who go by their surnames are perceived as ‘more famous’ at work, therefore more ‘important’ than a female counterpart. (

The minute difference in reference can affect others’ judgements of that individual and their position of importance within the workplace. Participants of the study judged the professionals who went by their surname as ‘more eminent’ and more deserving of a promotion by 14%.


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