“God! My manager is one tough Lady. I wish I had a male manager” “She is a woman yaar! Women managers are the worst” “She is such a micro-manager. This is the reason I hate women managers”.
Now! All of us would have heard some phrases like this. I definitely have! I’ve always wondered, what is it that these people hate about women managers? Because most statements are just vague justifications, trying to appeal to your inner hater (I hate haters!). and I’ve always noticed that its men who hate women managers. Maybe its just me or women do not seem to have much problems with women managers.
I have always loved women managers! There!! I said it. They are tough (duh! They are women), they do micro-manage (but, they also cut you some slack if you screw up), they are rule followers (because rules matter!), and they balance home and work like a pro. And That is why I love them. I root for them, I want them to succeed and grow professionally.
I am not saying male managers are not good (because you’d assume praising someone means that I am bashing someone else). They are pretty awesome too. They have worked hard to reach the place they are in now. But you can never hear a guy talk about balancing work and life. Because they don’t. Their home is managed by a dynamic woman. Balancing is getting up in the morning thinking about the food menu for that day, sorting work tasks and making a mental note, packing your child’s geometry box because he’d forgotten to pack it, replying to a work-related text, attending an 8 am standup call, and packing lunch for your child. And that is why I call them dynamic. Changes don’t scare them.
Now! Why do people hate women managers? All managers are the same right? They drive you crazy, micro-manage, never give the rating you want in appraisals, always give you more work than your peer, and always have a huge ego. So, why are women managers targeted specifically?
I had a colleague who hated his manager. What was weird was we shared the same manager and I loved her. I mean she was not being partial to me. She was the same tough boss to me as she was to him (Now! I am not some weirdo who loves to be tortured guys. Don’t imagine stuff… ). This really amazed me. Because my colleague and I were not that different. We were in the same grade, same accomplishments, same state (geographical), same age, same kind of work (you get the drift) and same project. One difference was that I am a woman and he is a man.
When she confronted me for something, I just answered because she is my boss (she was just being bossy!). I never took her micro-managing to my heart, because again, she was just being a boss. But with my co-worker, it was different. So, I asked him one day. He told me “hey! There is no rapport. With the previous manager, I used to gel well (they talked about sports and politics), we used to go together for tea (more sports talk and politics), I have nothing in common with her and we don’t gel well.”
His answer made me think. Because, I did not “gel” with the previous manager. I never went for tea break with him. We hardly talked about anything other than work-related stuff. And it is the same with the present manager too. I don’t “gel” with her. I just work with her. So, I did not understand why the “gelling” is important.
There are so many theories and psychoanalysis that comes up in my mind. But I am not going to delve into it because I am not a psychotherapist (you thought I was going to analyze the hell out of the guy, didn’t you!! God! You guys are so predictable …). There is one point of view that most of my colleagues share; and that is men find it difficult to take orders from women. Now! Why is that? Is it really a fact? Or just a myth? Again, it is just some men and not all men. So, again, I started searching answers by connecting with my male colleagues. “Women should be calm and quite” said one guy. “Women should not be so horrible. A woman should be lady-like”, “women should be understanding. Should not be so cutthroat.”. So, basically, they want all the women in the world to fit into this judgmental box. They want their manager to be quiet, calm, understanding, considerate, and well! Not be horrible.
Now! How is this possible? Ask any bus conductor, IT park security, teachers, nurses, or anyone who have to manage a bunch of people. They will tell you that it is utter rubbish (if they are not horrible, they’d die or kill someone).
Women face judgments from everyone in her life men. No matter what they do they get judged. Having expectations on how your life partner should be, that I understand. Having expectations on how women around you should behave, talk, interact, dress and like; seriously do you want to be “that” person?
Men! She is your manager. I am not trying to justify genuinely hostile managers. But think before you utter statements like “that’s why I hate women managers”, because you don’t hate them, you just want them to be quiet, docile woman. They cannot be considerate at all time, because they must get the work done, they cannot be quiet, because they are your voice when interacting with the higher-ups., they cannot be non-horrible, because they must compete with their peers, who do not have to balance work and home.
Try to put yourself in their shoes before spitting out words you may regret later. You can learn from these amazing women. Do not put them down, because these dynamic women are the future role models of your daughters.