I honestly just like CANNOT work for women. I think I just work better with men because they are so much more direct, don’t care about drama and are only focused on getting the job done. Women are so catty and emotional and…
Ok so now that I’ve gotten your attention, let’s cut the bullshit…
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I just work better with men than other women.” It honestly baffles me.
I have a pretty sizable network of successful and free-thinking women who I would consider, both, emotionally and academically intelligent. They are my friends. They are my colleagues. They are my relatives. (They are also the 30-min best friends I’ve made at the airport that I’ll never see again but for some reason added on Facebook in 2010 and still follow). One conversation I can’t seem to get away from revolves around women versus men in leadership roles. This conversation CAN be productive, but often it takes a weird turn into bashing women in leadership positions.
I used to think that the women with these opinions were small minded and easily influenced. BUT SHIT… over time I’ve heard this opinion come from some of my most femme-forward, women’s lib-loving peers and it really is something I think we need to address.
So why is there this grand notion that women don’t make great bosses? Why are we so comfortable writing off other women in these positions knowing damn well they had to work twice as hard just to be seen and in the same breath we advocate for equal treatment and equal pay?
Listen, I totally get why many (not all, but many) men are down to perpetuate this narrative. It benefits Chads everywhere for you to think that Chad isn’t a good boss simply because Chad isn’t a good boss, but Karen isn’t a good boss because all women are exactly the same and they all suck. But why are WE, as driven, intelligent, talented women, so inclined to believe this shit and then go and openly share this with others?
If we want to be treated, seen, and paid fairly, we have to stop letting everyone get away with perpetuating this toxic narrative. But like HOW? and seriously WHY is this still a thing?
As much as I would love to keep ranting and condemning this whole narrative, I will spare you from one of my favorite soap boxes (for now) and aim to keep this productive.
In order to understand better where this idea came from, why it still is so casually believed today, and what we can do to start fixing this bullshit, I turned to 3 of the brightest minds leading the Revolt and asked for their take. I hope you all find it interesting, but at the very least enlightening. We talk a lot about breaking out of the useless boxes society, and business in general puts on us, and this is one of the critical steps, in my opinion, to building a new, healthy narrative for the future BOSSES of the world.
If we really want 50% of the bosses of the world to be women, we better fix this shit now or actual professional equality is probably just a pipe dream.
So let’s see what some of the badass women of The Revolt have to say…
Jennifer Fitta, Revolt President, Author, Scholar, Bravo Super Fan. – Welcome to the Clubhouse…
Why the hell do we do this to ourselves?
We have been conditioned as professionals to compete with one another at all costs, because there are only so many seats at the table. I’ve found that when a woman is “granted” a seat it’s looked at as privilege and not an earned place. It’s not a privilege, it’s an earned outcome; so there’s mistake number one. From there, we’re taught that because of the seat shortage, it’s every woman for herself. Societal forces has placed us against one another instead of placing us side by side to rise together. In my past, I found myself more competitive with women than men in the workplace and I had to take a step back and ask myself why. It’s easier to focus on the competition of two women than it is to dissect why the competition has become so intertwined into workplace culture in the first place.
It all came down to the subconscious idea that women only had a certain amount of seats allowed at the table. On top of a seat shortage, we were even limited to what seats we could have. I didn’t even realize I was subscribing to the mindset and living that boxed life until I really looked in the mirror. I have made it my mission to deconstruct that box but the theory of transference. I never allow myself to get too comfortable in my seat until I’ve created not one, but two seats for others. It forces you to remember that it’s not the number of seats that’s the issue, it’s creating space for those seats. You don’t have to give up your seat in order to create the space for someone else. If we worry less about power and more about progress, we can shift the hell out of a society who limits the number of women in high places. I’ve found that shifting my mindset from competition to collaboration with a true effort towards transference was the game changer of me as both a professional and management. Managerial power come from strong minds and some of the strongest minds I’ve encountered in the workplace have been women, once we are allowed to collaborate instead of compete.
Vanna Keomisy, Director of Marketing, Creator, K-Pop Aficionado, and for the record an incredible woman Boss to work for. – I’m scared to ask this but here we go…
In your experience, is there any truth to these claims?
From personal experience, I’ve honestly never have really had that great of an experience with any of my male bosses. Not to talk down on any of the managers I’ve worked with throughout my career, I’m grateful for what I’ve learned from each of them, but the women I’ve reported to have been the most impactful in my career. When it comes to building relationships, personal or professional, I value sincerity the most. And sadly, sincerity is rare in the workplace. However, I found that with the women I worked for, they were not just bosses to me; they were mentors who genuinely cared about not only their work, but they also cared about others, including myself, as people.
Every single individual that worked with and for them mattered beyond just a paycheck or opportunity for a promotion or praise. I used to feel like I had to just fend for myself at work, like it was a constant battle to prove that what I was doing meant something to someone. But the first time I ever reported to a ‘female boss,’ was also the first time that someone in upper management actually really listened to what I had to say. And valued my skills for once.
It’s such a copout to say that women don’t make great bosses. Is it because we don’t let you mindlessly work your 9-5? Or maybe because we challenge you to think about your work, and the purpose of what you do? Or maybe because we’re asking you to give 100% of your 30%?
We’re in a transitional phase where being a woman in a managerial role means a lot more for the collective than it would alone. Success is much more grand with a team; upward mobility doesn’t stop at just one person.
And finally, Myca Williamson, MBA, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Poet, Educator – Get ready because this is a loaded question…
What will it take for this broken portrait of women in business to be refreshed?
I believe that the dirty work and ugly part of the journey to a solution begins with self. While society has attached stigmas to women in leadership and gender relations at work, it is important to understand the responsibility we have as women to not perpetuate any negative ideas. We owe it to the women who will step into our shoes as we continue to grow.
For me, this self work starts with the journey to radical self-confidence. It is certainly a journey I am still on, but it is a path we must fully step into for us to accept and celebrate our value. Until there is solidarity in self, we cannot embrace those around us. This is by no means a purely selfish endeavor, though. This journey includes empowering other women to also acknowledge and accept themselves.
I believe this self-installation of power transfers into your professional life and identity. Once you are truly confident in who you are and what you stand for, you become (even in times of doubt) a leader, an advocate and a Revolter. I mean, let’s face it, we all know we can’t do this shit alone. So who better to be in the trenches with than strong, resilient and radically self-confident women?
There you have it! We want you to think about this and start having these types of conversations with not only the women in your life, but the men in your life too. A good place to start is in the The Revolt Community App. It’s a safe and open space for these honest and empowering conversations to be had and we’d love to hear what you think and learn more about the experiences that have brought you to where you are now.