Bad Female Managers


Bad Female Managers

It is unlikely that you will see an article titled “Bad Male Managers,” just as you’ll likely not see an article labelled “The White Crime problem.”   While bad management spans all genders, races, and ethnicities, general aspersions from individual negative examples tend to be applied to non-white, non-male groups. I imagine this is a fairly general trend that benefits the majority group, and one would see articles about bad non-Han Chinese managers in China rather than their majority group as well. This circumstance adds an extra burden on all non-majority populations in terms of performance.   They are not only representing themselves but they are to some extent also representing their minority group.   There is a collective pressure to create a positive stereotype.   Therefore when a woman is a bad manager, she casts that negativity on all within her female peer group, and that is why we all cringe when we run into a really, really, bad female manager.   We know what that means; it means that every male manager she comes in contact with will have a more negative opinion of all female managers as a consequence.   Fair? Certainly not, but it is accurate. This pressure to positively represent is something that many white male managers will likely have no experience with and understanding it will make them better managers. In a positive light it means that there is an added incentive for your fellow black, female, Arab, or transgender managers to do well.  The negative side of that is the additional pressure and distraction associated with this heavier burden.   “If I look bad, am I going to screw this up for all the rest of the female managers in the company?” Worrying about this wider impact may tend to result in more conservative decisions and restricted risk taking. It may also result in managers affecting behaviors that are modelled rather than innate. A female manager trying to manage like a stereotypical male manager in a way that doesn’t agree with her natural inclinations and demeanor will result in her not managing to her potential. Creating a positive atmosphere that lets all managers and employees feel safe that they are being judged as an individual will help reduce the stress on your minority employees and will also likely increase performance.    


Posted on July 31, 2014, in Management & Business, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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