Long ago I read this and I wrote it down but I don’t remember the source. Please tell me if you know it:
A business man is aggressive, a business woman is pushy. He stands firm, she is hard. His judgments are her prejudices. He isn’t afraid to say, she is mouthy. He exercises authority, she is power mad.
But to what extent this is right? From a personal experience, everyone I met who dealt with a woman manager would confirm the statement above.
Some would argue that the argument is basically not valid, and the differentiation between men and women managers is not accepted. There are good and bad managers in both sexes.
I don’t agree because whether we accept it or not men and women are different in dealing and reacting to certain situations.
I don’t know on what basis or research the writer reached this conclusion. But from a personal view and observation this reflects a lot of reality.
But because I don’t want to seem biased towards women managers, I decided to examine, from my point of view, what makes women good or bad managers.
Why women are bad managers:
- Women are more personally engaged. They tend to handle business or political situations on a personal level. Because of this, women are not able to handle most cases objectively and neutrally with certain detachment;
- They are easily influenced and affected. This why it said: “His judgments are her prejudices”. It is really hard for women to deal 100% rationally with incidents in her life. They usually build there judgments on insufficient and one-sided information.
Why women are good managers:
- Because they are more personally engaged, they are able to handle human situations more deeply. Especially in dealing with subordinates and special business cases.
- Women are generally more open minded than men. They are more willing to accept a change and they have a more open eye on changing factors.
- Women are more into the details of things while men care more about the big picture.
I finally want to say that, on a psychological level, no one is totally masculine or feminine. So many men have some of the characteristics of women. I mean you can never describe George W. Bush as a 100% masculine character. Nor you can say Angela Mercer or Condoleezza Rice are 100% feminine.
Let’s get the discussion started. I would love to hear what different people think about this. What’s your personal experience with women as mangers?
(09 Oct 07)
After some online and offline discussions about the issue I have a new idea.
As mentioned in the comments below, the point of discussion is not how bad and good women managers are. Being a bad or a good manager is a broad issue to be discussed in a blog. It has so many dimensions to be based on and it is not at all a gender issue.
I wanted to make this clear in order to follow the discussion in a healthy way. Unfortunately women comments (except Karima) are subjective and attacking. I hope women in future comments will be able to successfully represent their gender.
What I am interested in are certain characteristics generally noted in women managers. Those are positive and negative characteristics listed above. Those are not scientifically proven but are generally noticed in the business environment.
The idea that I reached is that negative characteristics are not associated with “emotionally stable women”. Women who are emotionally healthy do not have those characteristics. In fact, they are more able to engage personally and positively more than men do.
What do you think?