If Your Boss Is A Lady

Published in MINS Magazine, Qingdao

If Your Boss Is A Lady   BY Built to LAST Executive Search Firm (WWW.BTLSEARCH.COM)

Is there a gender difference of those senior executives and leaders? It is almost the same to ask if there is a gender difference between men and women. If your boss was a lady, you’d better be aware of this gender difference. But, your purpose should be trying to understand and embrace the difference, instead of exaggerating it.

From those female leaders we have met so far (including entrepreneur and professional manager), some feminine features could be easily found as below listed:

1, Emotional

Most of the daily performance of the female leaders is very rational and systematic. The female leaders could even be more sober and resolute than male dose when making big decisions. But in their daily life (we have to admit that women have taken more responsibilities in their family today) or work, some emotional accumulation occurs, especially during the female special physiological cycles, sometimes it appears to be a special mood at last. These emotions may affect them when making small decisions in daily work and make them to be a little irrational. Although those small decisions have nothing to do with major management decision, it will still hurt female leaders°Ø interpersonal relationship and impressions badly. However, on the other side of the coin, to be emotional could also be a kind of advantage for the female leaders sometimes, because others may feel better when they were treated in a personal and humane way.

2, Eye for Details

Women tend to be more careful than men. Even the women who appear to be careless would like to pay much more attention on trifles and details. This subtle feeling may cause people to form an impression that female leaders were born with perfectionist tendencies. But as a matter of fact, most of the female has psychological characteristics of stability pursuing. The female leaders are not that picky as they seem to be, they are just more willing to express what they feel.

3, Appearance prejudice

The latest newscasts are always coming up with the female leaders’ success, and gossips are often around the beautiful female leaders. We can attribute this result to the male loser’s “sour grapes”. To overcome this, the only thing that the female leaders could rely on is stronger mental state.

It must be noted that above features are objective existence even many female leaders are not aware of it. When these features are intentionally or unintentionally reinforced by their superiors and subordinates, and then their opinions became bias.

For example, in the survey of choosing superiors on male professional managers, more than half of them made clear that if they had a choice, their ideal superior would be a gentleman. The bias like this toward female leaders is a huge problem that every female manager has to face.

In China, female leaders bear more pressure from both family and society due to the continuation of culture and history. We should accept the gender differences with more open mind, no matter male or female we are. Take the advantage of gender difference on team building and team work; pay more attention to other aspects besides gender, such as IQ and EQ, etc. And because of difference in personalities, the managerial style of female leaders would be far more diversified. If you are lucky enough to have a female boss, I do hope you can communicate with her with a more open and containing point of view, because it will help both of you two.

Reply from Roz:

Gender bias has existed since the dawn of time. In the past it has been based on fact. Men have traditionally been more involved in combat and war than women—successful male warriors were held in high esteem, especially in Asian societies. Females were viewed as being more effective in maintaining positive relationships within the group, reflecting females’ traditional roles as peacekeepers and wanting to preserve group order. These gender leadership stereotypes that women leaders face today are a residual of human evolutionary history that unfortunately still affect the way people evaluate and respond to leadership in our world and the workplace today.

However since from the Suffragette Movement of the late 19th and early 20th century, to the feminist movement of the 70’s, women have continued to campaign for reforms and push for the change of traditional mindsets.  The feminist movement (also known as the Women’s Movement, Women’s Liberation, or Women’s Lib) continued a series of campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity pay,  equal pay for equal work, voting rights, sexual harassment, and workplace equality. The priorities of the movement tend to vary between nations and communities. In North America, the focus of the movement over the past several decades has been towards the effects of the glass ceiling on women’s rights.

So it would be very normal for the male-dominated world that we live in to reinforce ideas that women aren’t good bosses, using the excuse that they have ‘special physiological cycles’ which cloud their judgement and affect and even hamper a woman leader’s skill to be effective. This is the equivalent of saying that if a woman leader didn’t have these ‘cycles’, she might be a good leader. It’s like thinking,  “If farmers could make lemons less sour, then I would eat them everyday”…It’s quite impossible to change the characteristics of a lemon; its sourness is an inherent and delightful part of its DNA!

If employees are afraid to have their bosses focus on the details of their job performance, they are most likely to appreciate their boss being a male, since many women leaders are very appearance and visually oriented.

But the power brokers of the world are men and therefore the proliferation of the idea that females make good bosses would erode and eventually lessen the male-dominated power…an idea that they would like to avoid at all costs!

Roz Weitzman is a Canadian writer and educator with 26 years of Primary School and Early Childhood Education experience, first as a teacher and then as an administrator in Toronto, Canada, and then in Beijing and Qingdao. She is the Principal of Cherie Hearts No. 1 International Kindergarten of Qingdao. She can be reached at roz@candismail.com.cn

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About Roz Weitzman's World

Periodically in China since 2005 to research my cookbooks and travel in China and southeast Asia. Loving the experience. Want to keep in touch with my friends and family all over the world! I published my Chinese Cookbook called 'Roz Weitzman's World of Chinese Comfort Food'. This week I published my latest in my series of Chinese cooking called "Roz Weitzman's World of Yunnan Food". Please won't you scribble a thought or two. I really appreciate your comments! AND IF YOU SHOULD WISH TO REPOST MY RECIPES OR OTHER OF MY POSTS ON YOUR OWN BLOG, BE SO KIND AS TO POST A LINK BACK TO MY BLOG AND GIVE ME CREDIT FOR MY ORIGINAL WORK. MANY THANKS IN ADVANCE.

Posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, in Thoughts!. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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