Business English lesson 9 : Conversation at the office

Beginner level / CECR : A2/B1

1st Part

2nd Part

3rd Part

4th Part

5th Part

6th Part

Read the following text

In many workplaces around the world the men who are considered ‘born leaders’ and promoted up the corporate career ladder, while the women are given less important roles. Even today, many working women find an invisible barrier to succeed referred to as the glass ceiling

We have met the members of The No Club, a group of women saying ‘No’ to the glass ceiling by publicly questioning the kinds of jobs men and women are asked to do in the workplace. Professor Lise Vesterlund discusses how females disproportionately take on the unimportant, less visible tasks at work, non-promotable tasks, jobs like taking notes, organizing social events or chairing meetings – jobs that take time and effort but do little to increase company profits or to boost your career. For women in a team, the level of multitasking they’re doing far outstrips (dépasse)  men’s in a lot of cases. 

Besides, for working mums, who are raising a family as well as developing careers at work, this involves some juggling trying to manage your life when you are involved in many different activities which all demand your time.

But there is a silver lining as the number of female managers and women working in jobs traditionally seen as male has increased dramatically over the last two decades.

1️⃣ Learn the vocabulary:

come into existence as a result of birth
(Traduction : né)

begin, originate,

a piece of equipment for climbing up and down a wall/ a series of stages by which you can make progress in your life or career (Ex: the social ladder)
(Traduction : une échelle)

hierarchy (in this context)

a point in women’s careers beyond which they cannot progress
(Traduction: le plafond de verre)

class prejudice, social prejudice

a piece of work that someone has to do
Multitasking : doing several tasks at the same time
(Traduction: une tâche/ un travail)

job, duty, chore, assignment

to be successful, to achieve sth that you’ve been trying to do or get (Traduction : réussir)

to accomplish, to achieve, to make it

to become or make something become greater in amount, number, value…
(Traduction: augmenter)

to grow, to expand, to develop, to boost 

to include something as necessary part. 
(Traduction: impliquer)

to imply, to require, to entail

a positive side ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. (saying=proverbe anglais) (every sad or difficult situation has a positive side) 
(Traduction : côté positif)

bright side, blue-sky, break in the clouds, good side

not likely to be ill, in good health.
(Traduction : en bonne santé)

Health: la santé 

well, in good shape

2️⃣ Read, listen and repeat the following sentences:

Many working women find an invisible barrier to succeed referred to as the glass ceiling.

Traduction : De nombreuses femmes qui travaillent se heurtent à une barrière invisible qui les empêche de réussir appelée « plafond de verre ». 

Men are promoted while women are given less important roles.

Traduction : Les hommes avancent dans leur carrière (sont promus) alors que les femmes se voient confier des rôles moins importants...

Some jobs take time and effort but do little to boost your career.

Traduction : Certains emplois demandent du temps et des efforts mais ont peu d’impact sur l’évolution de votre carrière.

It is difficult to manage your life when you are involved in many different activities.

Traduction : Il est difficile de gérer sa vie lorsque l’on est impliqué dans de nombreuse activités différentes.

3️⃣ Written comprehension