So this morning is probably the only day that I will be able to sleep in this week and this is what I woke up thinking about:
Can women be managers or in positions of leadership? This is the question my coworker and I were talking about yesterday. We were talking about issues that are currently going on in our work environment. His theory? Those issues would not be issues if our manager was a man. He theorized that women aren’t really meant to be in charge. They can’t handle the pressure and are too passive to be in charge.
Most people who know me know that I am not an argumentative person, really. That’s probably a good thing. Or maybe it’s not. At any rate, whenever someone makes a remark like the one I had just heard, I have a really hard time keeping my opinion to myself. So I gave him my opinion anyways.
It’s kind of ironic, because right now I am taking a class called “Social Inequality,” and I am doing a group project on the inequality of women. But honestly, I don’t think that I need any college class to realize how ridiculous his statement was. Come on, what century is this? Why are there people who still think that women are inferior to men, in any way?
Which is exactly what I told this coworker of mine.
And basically, this is the general attitude of the place I work at:
1. When doing their job exactly the same way, the women managers are bitches. The men are managers, and;
2. A manager not doing their job effectively: A male manager is not doing his job effectively. A female manager is not doing her job effectively because she is a woman.
Being a good manager has nothing to do with being a man or woman. It is about being a good leader and knowing the best way to get the job done. If things are not going well within the work environment, it is because the person in charge, regardless of their gender; is not being an effective leader.
However, there’s a catch to that. For example, in the pharmacy I work at, one of the pharmacists (a male) would constantly criticize the way the manager (female) did her job, to the staff. He would question her managing practices and not enforce her policies. Instead of backing her up like he should have, he would side with the staff. And then he would tell the staff that the reason why she wasn’t a good manager was because she was a woman; usually when they were out at the bar having drinks after work. He didn’t back up the manager like he should have. He has since left the company; but you know, his words stuck.
(Which is I guess where this coworker obtained his general opinion of why our manager is struggling at the moment.).
I’ve had a lot of different managers over the years. Some have been really good, some have been really bad. Some of the best ones were women, and some of the worst ones were men. And yes, it has been the other way around.
But I can’t imagine that any manager can be effective, if they fall victim to ridiculous stereotypes.