I posted an article a few weeks ago about a speaker I´d heard at a NAWBO dinner last month. Dr. Susan Murphy co-authored a book called In the Company of Women which discusses women as managers. During her talk she also discussed the differences between men and women managers and how we, as women, can make it easier to manage other women or to work for female managers. The statistics and research that she has compiled over the years is really interesting. Today I´m going to share part of it and I would love to hear your comments.
During her research Dr. Murphy found that men think about management as a hierarchy, where each person in a company is on a level, one above the next. There is the "top dog´ manager, who oversees everything, and then there are the others, each on his or her own level in the company.
Women, though, see things more as an even playing field, where all players are about the same. We therefore tend to think that we should treat our workers (if we are managers) more like equal playing members rather than as people who work for us. Also, those of us with female managers tend to see them as social beings that we can chat with and not just our managers, as we might see men. So, we might feel comfortable saying to a woman manager that we like her hair or telling her that our kids were up all night with runny noses when we might not feel that way with a man. And as a manager, we might sometimes reveal too much personal information to our workers because we feel that we can, whereas we might not do this with our men employees.
Dr. Murphy brought up how we react when a male manager drops a project on our desk and says only, "I need this by noon." When this happens we may not feel as though he is being overly aggressive; just as that he is being the boss and telling us what needs to be done. But if a female manager drops something on our desk and says, "Have this to me by noon," and walks away we may become offended by her short, abrupt manner.
So what do you think? Do you find this is the truth when you are working? Can you see a difference in the way that you relate to men and women in the workplace based on how you view their roles?
Just a few things to think about as you being your workweek!