Stereotyping of women managers went out 20 or 30 years ago...or did it?
Seems that it is still here. And though it is ridiculous, it's hard to change peoples minds.
One thing women have to do is help accomplish this change of mind by acting and behaving as though it's already so. We need to also recognize that not only do we want people to not assume things about us, but we also cannot assume things about them either.
We all have our own abilities, quirks and genius. Each of us has the right to be seen as an individual one worthy of respect.
Catalyst produced a study saying that women and men both stereotype women in business and that is part of what holds them back.
Amy Joyce of the Washington Post referred to this study and discussed comments by a well known advertising executive who allegedly told 300 people that business women "don't make it to the top because they don't deserve to." Hmm. Them's fightin' words where I come from!
He elaborated, saying that women are apt to "wimp out and go suckle something. My, my...this man needs enlightening don't you think?
Heres the real deal .its all about respect.
If you think about it, no individual can be an individual and the SAME as everybody else. It doesn't matter whether you are white, black, male, female, poor or rich. Thats my two cents, anyway.
Heres where women can help. Make a point of trying to see past assumptions and beliefs that may have been instilled in you when you were growing up. Look beyond that to the real person. Now can you see their hidden talent, their genius, their worth?
Thats what youre looking for. If we begin to value people for what they can do instead of finding ways to devalue them for what they cant we will allow that person to blossom right before our eyes.
Now we women need to be the first to step up to the plate. And I don't know about you, but I've found some women in business who still hold assumptions of their own about other people.
There's the woman manager who assumes that most guys who work in the corporate world are not going to treat her fairly and so she puts up the "wall"...and of course, sometimes she gets exactly what she expects.
Then there is the woman in business who assumes other women are possible competition and does everything to keep them from getting noticed by other managers in the corporation.
Lastly, and probably most common, is the woman manager who inherits staff and assumes they were placed in the jobs for which they are best suited. This is not necessarily wrong, but an assumption can keep us from noticing extraordinary capability in people.
For example, I once worked in a clerical capacity. Who knew I had the capability to not only manage over $100 million dollars of client assets as I later did, but that I could run my own successful business?
I was very fortunate that the company hired a woman manager who did begin to notice my capability. She encouraged me and motivated me to aspire for more. I guess it worked out.
I believe we women can attract the respect we desire by opening our minds and respecting that others may have capabilities that are not obvious at first. If we are open, though, we begin to look for the good in others. And as we begin to notice what people do especially well and let them know that we notice...a funny thing happens. We begin to attract notice ourselves. As fair minded women managers, worthy of respect,
EVERYBODY has genius. EVERYBODY has worth. Look for it in others as you would have them look for it in you!
Don't sterotype others, executives and employees, any more than you would want them to sterotype you.
Gain respect from both other executives and employees by identifying their natural abilities and engage them where their skills may shine. Follow it up with encouragement every time they do something well and you'll gain a loyal following of people who support you and do what you request with great enthusiasm.
For a woman manager, what could be better than that?