Are Women Harder to Work For? The Truth Revealed

Women Thinking
Women have a good excuse for being harder to work for.

If I had a dime for every time I hear that women bosses are worse than men, I’d be rich.

Is it true? Are women really harder to work for? Many women I know would answer “Yes”.

I have to admit that I believe there is some truth to it; with the following caveats:

-not all women are hard to work for, and

-we have a good excuse.

Don’t get me wrong. There are many great women leaders.  I myself have worked for a few.  However based on my experience, women are more challenging than men.

Guess what? We have a very good reason.

Women, we do have a good reason that stems from how we’re socialized.  Most of us will agree that women and men are indeed socialized differently.  Men are usually socialized to compete and still be friends, while women are usually socialized to make friends and keep harmony.  Therefore, competing with friends is frowned upon.  Many of us believe that anyone who conflicts with us, is potentially out to get us.

This variance in socialization plays out in the work place.  When men disagree at work, they can still go out and have a drink and slap each other on the back.  In fact, many men respect a man more, after they had an opportunity to duke it out.  They actually respect the man for how well he fought.  Have you ever seen men shake hands after a duel?

On the other hand, when women fight, we sometimes let the fight affect the relationship and carry ill feelings.  We see things through the eyes of relationships.  If someone conflicts with us, we often feel like the relationship is tainted.  Have you ever seen women shake hands after a duel?  Not me.

As women, we tend to think in terms of;

“I like you…, I like you not.”

“You like me,…. You like me not.”

We often have a difficult time letting go, which makes us more susceptible to carrying grudges.  These grudges carry out in various ways,  getting ugly at times.  This is what makes some women harder to work for.

Let me break it down further: If you have a misstep with a male boss, he is more likely to let it go, not allowing it to jeopardize the relationship (except for narcissistic bosses which is another story).  Women on the other hand, are more apt to let a mishap affect the relationship.

This tendency to hang on to bad feelings makes us more likely to behave as unreasonable, micro-managers, moody, playing favorites, and down right bitchy (sorry).  I remind myself of this tendency so that I don’t take things so seriously and realize that many things are just business.

Writing this article was risky for me as I didn’t want to offend women.  However, it is important for us to be honest with ourselves and to understand how our tendencies may affect our professional behavior.  Therefore, I took the risk to bring it forward.

Admit it, haven’t you ever felt like you hated someone after you had an altercation at work?  Didn’t you let your “b” side come out even a little when around them?  We all have had our “b” side come out at one time or another.  I’m just keeping it real.

You be the judge. In your opinion, are women harder to work for? Take our poll or leave a comment and let us know what you think?

© Jocelyn Giangrande and SASHE,LLC, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author  is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jocelyn Giangrande and SASHE,LLC  with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

5 thoughts on “Are Women Harder to Work For? The Truth Revealed

  1. Hello Jocelyn,
    I have, in my short time in the professional arena, found women to be harder to work for than men. I like your point, about how women are socialized. My question is, what can be done in child rearing to counteract the “I like you…, I like you not” notion? The last thing I want to encourage is division and factions into the young girls in my family. Love the post. -Bre

    1. BreSheena, thanks for your comments and sharing your experience. A great way to help girls in the early years, is to have them play competitive sports. Competing on teams and respecting your opponent’s tactics is a great way to help girls learn how to appreciate the act of working together, appreciation for the game, and not taking things too seriously. Notice how teams shake hands after a game? Winners and losers respect the performance, even when others cheat. Most women whom have played competitive sports, perform better in the corporate world and are actually better bosses. Take care.

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