I was having a breakfast meeting with a client recently and it was interesting to notice the assumptions that were being made by the waitress who was serving us.
Generally for the first few times coming to the table her focus was on me, my order and making an impression – my female client was almost entirely ignored. At one point she commented on this when the waitress went away and we watched her behaviours on her return to the table – there was a minor improvement but still we were assuming that she was expecting me to pay the bill.
At the end of the meal my client very kindly paid and there was a noticeable shift in the waitresses attitude – perhaps thinking that she may have blown the chance of a good tip.
Regardless, today it is a very poor assumption that in a business meeting the woman is not going to pay, or that the man is the more senior at the table – we were not rushing to get out, we were both dressed in business attire and we did not ask for too much – was it too much to ask in return that we be treated at least as equals?