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Old February 11th, 2011, 08:57 PM   #17
moniker
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I think women are feared as managers for one reason: we still don't have a world where women are authority figures. Sure, we have "girl cops" and "girl doctors" but that's how they're seen...not as a profession but a profession first delineated by a gender, as if society feels the need to point out how unusual it is. Sure, they don't use "girl" but "female" or "woman," but the idea is the same: it's a person doing the job that has a gender you don't traditionally expect, so someone feels like they have to specifically point out the gender (female) because they don't want you to be caught off guard.

Part of this is because our society is adjusting, and in the mean time we will still have this throw back. Actresses are starting to be referred to as actors, just like how a murderer who happens to be female is no longer called a "murderess."

The other part is that we don't want women to be authority figures. I don't mean that women can't be authority figures but mom's bosom was (and if she's still alive, still is) the place of safety, magic, warmth, and everlasting love. We see women as lovers, not authoritarians, and it's scary to see a woman in a position of an authoritarian because that means there's no love in the world. Oh, sure, that's not what it really means but I suspect our brains fear it.

The other issue is that we know women have a tough time being treated equally, so we tend to emphasize traits we're trying to have taken seriously...in this case, authority. For this reason, a female manager/supervisor/boss can be more strict than her male counterpart...or at least that's the perception.

Finally, in order to fit into a male-dominated field, some women (many?) actually hate women. This is done to fit in, and is subconscious...sort of like how you can hang around a person who speaks differently than you do and pick up a few phrases you find yourself using even when that person isn't around. We are social creatures so we try to fit into groups and find ourselves behaving similarly. If men in the workplace treat women like trash, then a female trying to fit in will treat her fellow woman like trash.


So what can be done? Time...I suspect with time we'll realize women aren't different or weird, they are just as capable and we'll really realize that instead of just paying it lip service. Some of us already realize it, but society as a whole hasn't.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Betsy View Post
I'm a director of a large mental health program, and I supervise other managers. Our agency does very intensive work, and I'm really being challenged right now with a new manager who doesn't understand the nature of the intensity of the work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoohsBigSister View Post
We even wrote out step by step instructions on how to do every phase of the job..and the new girl is STILL asking me how to do it...over and over and over and over and over...i finally snapped today and told her to READ THE INSTRUCTION SHEET BEFORE COMING TO ASK PLEASE.... sigh...
In situations like this, I ask myself, "What would I do if this person wasn't like me?" I notice that I'll give people leeway if our first or last names are the same...more leeway than I would normally give, and that's wrong. In the same way, just because she's a fellow woman doesn't excuse her ignorance or inability to be suited for a position. She needs to know that her job is at stake and that you're willing to send her to a training seminar if needed but her performance needs to improve.
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