According to Esquire Magazine’s Big Black Book (one of my favorites):
- When a man and a woman ENTER an elevator on the same floor, the man should enter first and hold the door (so it does not close) for the woman.
- When EXITING an elevator, and there are less than five people in the car, women should be allowed to exit first.
If, however, the elevator has five or more riders, and everyone is exiting, those closest to the door should exit first.
There is no need to hold the doors for women in a populated car because:
- it’s just too crowded to make a difference
- the other guys in the car are made to look inconsiderate if they don’t move out of the way, and
- it makes everyone irritated if you bump into others