How Is A Female Boss Different?
This is (of course) a loaded question, not something that can be answered simply. We all have inner biases, whether we like to admit it or not. This influences how we engage our world by perceiving the people around us. While some stereotypes are dated and “unhelpful”, studies have confirmed some assumptions that we take for granted.
Back in 2017, it was reported that only 6.4 percent of Fortune 500 companies had a female CEO. While the number has risen since then, it is still well below the 10 percent mark. If women make up (roughly) 50 percent of the population, why is their representation so low at the “highest” level?
Some may attribute this to sexist prejudices, which (incorrectly) suggest that women are too “warm” and “friendly” to lead. In order for a company to be successful, the employees must be loyal to the management team, especially the CEO. As times change, so do the values of workers, requiring a different type of system and attitude.
Family Life Balance
In some parts of the world, workers are expected to work non-stop, leaving little time for maintaining family ties. Research shows a positive correlation between family time and marriage longevity. In other words, families who spent more time together were less likely to split up. While a male boss may not consider this at the time–when they expect periods without a day off-female leaders will make family time a priority. This not only keeps the company strong (by keeping the workers loyal) but it also serves a greater purpose by building the community as a whole.
More Open To Creativity
Life is not simple and can be messy. Emergencies happen and exceptions need to be made. How about responding to the Covid 19 lockdowns? Creativity means adapting to new scenarios, coming out better in the end.
If you cannot leave your home, how can you ensure that students get quality education, while keeping your loyal tutors employed?
How can you support your worker’s home life, ensuring that their family is healthy and happy?
We live in the “Gig Economy” Where workers are independent contractors, often working with different companies and personnel. While some things can be difficult to adjust–like wage–other considerations are highly prized.
What about a worker’s dinner?
Karaoke night, anyone?
Team building is definitely a priority among (many) female bosses, who see their workers as more than “just a number”. Furthermore, studies have shown that workers are more comfortable discussing personal issues with a female boss, even if that preference is based on emotion rather than reason. While there are many talented (and empathetic) male bosses, workers are less likely to trust them, at least in 2022.
Isn’t Stereotyping Harmful?
Well yes, it certainly can be.
It is important to understand the intentions of the writer. It can be difficult to discuss sensitive topics, especially since we do not want to offend anyone’s feelings. Common sense dictates that men and women are equally intellectually competent, with anything to the contrary being harmful (or at least, not useful). Some people will yell “female bosses rule “ or scream “male bosses are more efficient”.
It can be difficult to make blanket statements, especially when every industry requires a different skillset. For example, chances are that you will encounter a male boss in engineering while being subservient to a female principal in education. Going back to the idea of stereotypes, there can be truth mixed in there, amid all of the misconceptions and dribble. Studies show that women do (indeed), prefer people over things with men preferring objects over people. Making room for outliers (eg. male elementary school teachers and female computer coders) we can accommodate all personality types, ensuring that the workplace is more welcoming and inclusive.
Unfortunately, men are lacking when it comes to employee engagement, that is maintaining a strong communication (and rapport) with those under them. Female bosses tend to make small talk with their workers, discussing things like family, exercise, and social events. This makes the workplace more appealing for everyone, since it creates a culture of “openness and friendship”. What can be seen as a waste is (instead) seen as an investment, in future cohesion and productivity.
Coffee and donuts do not cost a lot, but it pays big in the eyes of workers!
Female bosses understand the importance of the “little things”.
Worker satisfaction is a big deal, especially if you consider the cost (and wasted time) on training new employees. It does not take much to show that you care, whether it be an encouraging word, cup of coffee, or a positive comment that you heard about them.Female bosses are interested in developing a corporate culture, a place where workers feel free to be themselves. Some people feel overlooked by male bosses, being scared to speak out. In this type of environment, only the loud and “dominant” are afforded time and opportunity. Many female employers will value everyone’s opinion, at every level, free from the strict hierarchies of a bygone era.
Is There A Sisterhood?
Women are known to lift each other up, giving them opportunity and consideration.T
LGBT Employees Prefer Female Bosses
Some comprehensive research was gathered on the subject with data demonstrating a preference for LGBT workers among female hiring managers. Furthermore, LGBT workers reported a preference for female bosses. Similar studies show that ethnic minorities have a greater chance of being selected by female recruiters. Like every finding in the category, there is a steep divide between preferences with the “sword cutting both ways”.
Why would LGBT workers feel more comfortable?
Men are seen as more harsh, prioritising “justice over empathy”. On the other hand, women are seen as more motherly, less likely to be judgemental. As such, the female boss is seen as more approachable and willing to listen. This is not just workers from protected groups as many younger generations are looking for a “safer” workplace free of discrimination, racism, and other kinds of oppression. Furthermore, if people feel that they can be “their true selves” at work, they will be less likely to job-hop.
Things are changing with Generation Z workers reporting no preference for either a male or female boss. What it comes down to is pay, culture, environment, respect, and meaning. The future is uncertain but we can make some conclusions.
There are many people who prefer a female boss, workers from every gender and demographic. This does not take away from the strong productivity of their male counterparts, with collaboration being more valuable than competition. It takes every type of worker to make up a company. As such, there is a great need for the skills and talents of female bosses and managers.