On our way home from lunch earlier today, I was telling my husband about my new job and then I realised that in all my past and current employments (I have been working for about 3 years now), the only managers I’ve reported to, served under, and worked with have all been females.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a beef with reporting to a female manager but I’ve never reported to and worked for a male manager, hence I have no idea what it feels like (though I get some friends telling me that working for a male manager doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better either!).
But I know exactly what it feels like to work for a female manager. Women are women, and they have their follies. Some would be menopausal and cry at the tiniest bit of dissent. Some will rule you like an iron lady. Some prefer male managers because they are less emotional and more rational, while others prefer to work for female managers because they are more compassionate and understanding.
Females Over Males
According to Gallup.com, female managers are more engaging than male managers.
Why do they say that?
Well, based on some research conducted by Gallup, it was found that female managers themselves tend to be more engaged than male managers. Gallup finds that 41% of female managers are engaged at work, compared with 35% of male managers. In fact, female managers of every working-age generation are more engaged than their male counterparts, regardless of whether they have children in their household. These findings have profound implications for the workplace. If female managers, on average, are more engaged than male managers, it stands to reason that they are likely to contribute more to their organization’s current and future success.
Given that female managers being more engaged than their male counterparts, this would result in higher engagement levels in more engaged and higher-performing work groups. It is discovered that employees who work for a female manager are found to be 6 per cent more engaged than those who work for a male manager, at least 33 per cent to 27 per cent, respectively. Female employees who work for a female manager are the most engaged at 35 per cent while male employees who report to a male manager are the least engaged at 25 per cent. That is a significant difference of 10 per cent.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that all female managers are more successful in the work place compared to male managers. It just means that female managers are more able to find tasks that are stimulating enough to challenge their employees.
The Gallup surveys also found that these ladies in power have a higher tendency to build relationships with the people who wor for them, encourage positivity in the work place, set the standards clearly for the employees, all the while providing feedback and checking in on them more. These are all traits that make them the best work place motivators.
Working With Women
Personally, working with female managers have given me more reason to want to work with a male manager, just to see what it feels like. I have had friends working with male managers and they have shared incidents and stories where these men in suits and power were either arrogant and know-it-all, or meek and a pushover. Some use sex as a reason for their employees to climb the corporate ladder, while others belittle and bring you down.
That doesn’t mean women are perfect either. In my 3 years of working, I was unlucky to have worked for 3 female managers who were she-devils, iron ladies, tiger mothers. They picked on the nitty-gritty details and highlighted all my faults that I think I would have been better off as a rotting wall that is being studied and scrutinised before being given a fresh coat of paint. They would rather accuse me of a crime than admit they were wrong.
And then I had the liberty of working with 3 more female managers who were angels (may God bless them!) and saved me from the depths of my depression. But that’s just me. Until this very day, I still wonder what it feels like to work for a male manager.
What do you think? Who would you prefer to work with? A male manager or a female manager?