Why Women Prefer to Be Managed By Men (Part 2)

In Part One of this post, I promised to share the results from my recent survey of 700+ executive women on why they preferred to be managed by men. Here are the top three reasons cited, listed in order of most to least popular.

#1 Men are more direct.

“I hate to say this, but….my male bosses have been easier to read and made expectations clearer than most of my female bosses.”

“I usually find male bosses as easy, effective, no nonsense.”

– Survey Respondents

Recently I had a manager tell me the story of an employee he called in to his office for some corrective coaching. Since this was usually a very spirited staffer, he was surprised to find her quiet as a mouse, mostly just nodding her head as he explained how she could have handled a particular situation better. At the end of the meeting, the manager asked the employee if she had any questions. She didn’t….and yet… not even an hour later the manager said he received a multi-paragraphed email from the employee stating her side of the case. This is madness. If you want to move up, you have to learn to step up.

#2 Women are competitive

“Unfortunately, women come to the workplace feeling so scrappy as if they have to fight for everything as they try to climb the ladder.” 

“My experience with women has been almost all competitive.”

– Survey Respondents

I’m not going to debate whether or not the “women are competitive” stereotype is valid. All I can say is that on this survey, it was a common response. So here’s the deal: There is only misery behind the door of comparison. Either you’re not good enough, which is frustrating, or you’re “better than”, which is egotistical. The moment you start thinking others have “more” is the moment you see yourself with “less.” How can those thoughts possibly serve you? Your success doesn’t limit anyone else any more than their success limits yours.To think otherwise is to choose to be little – and littleness won’t make you happy or successful.

#3 Women are too emotional

“Women tend to bring emotions to the table no matter what, and can be unfair because of that.”

“Women bosses can be dramatic, and remember the smallest perceived slight forever.”

– Survey Respondents

A few months ago I interviewed author and former Nickelodeon VP Anne Kreamer about her book It’s Always Personal: Emotion in the New Workplace. Kreamer notes that all humans have a hormone called prolactin which, among other functions, is thought to be our “crying trigger.” In other words, when the prolactin is flowing, so are the tears. But here’s where men and women differ: Women have six times as much prolactin in our bodies as men. In addition, our tear ducts are twice as large as men’s which explains why we tend to gush tears and men tend to trickle. Is it any wonder women are perceived as emotional?

Okay, now it’s your turn. Do you agree with the survey that these are the top three issues holding women back at work?

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