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Do Women Make Better Bosses?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the technically-they-make-all-of-them dept.

Businesses 403

Hugh Pickens writes "David Mielach reports on a new study which finds that women in management positions lead in a more democratic way, allowing employees to participate in decision-making and establishing interpersonal channels of communication. 'In line with known gender differences in individual leadership, we find that in workplaces with more women managers, more individualized employee feedback is carried out,' says study author Eduardo Melero. 'Likewise, we can see evidence, although weaker, that in these workplaces decisions are made more democratically and more interpersonal channels of communications are established.' The research was based on data from the Workplace Employment Relationships Survey, a survey of workplaces in the United Kingdom. Melero analyzed this data by looking at the number of women in management positions in companies and the leadership tactics employed at those companies. He found increased communication between management and employees in companies with women in management positions led to more well-informed decisions, since employee feedback will be utilized in the decision-making process. Still, correlation does not equal causation. 'One might question the direction of the relation: is it women managers who are the behind these policies, or is it that more progressive organizations are more accessible for women leaders than other workplaces (PDF)?'"

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Both can be equally bad (4, Insightful)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451887)

I have seen examples of both male and female boss fail... I don't see much difference, I think they are equal.

Re:Both can be equally bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451945)

The bell curve of quality applies to everything.

Re:Both can be equally bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451975)

Sturgeon's Law is more mathematically accurate.

Re:Both can be equally bad (2)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452175)

I agree with you there, but females tend to a little less of a pain and more willing to talk things over with the person, less of do this or your fired. I have talked my way of of doing something stupid with a female boss but never a male boss.

Re:Both can be equally bad (5, Informative)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452299)

I've noticed woman bosses tend to take things more personally and are quicker to pick favorites. Male bosses tend to be more "we'll do it this way!".

Re:Both can be equally bad (3, Interesting)

dskzero (960168) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452369)

Actually, in my experience, i've found the other way is more often the less painful.But it depends on the personality, not in the sex of the boss.

Re:Both can be equally bad (-1, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452239)


I keep the sexual harassment forms in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet. That way when a woman goes to get one, I can check out her ass.

Re:Both can be equally bad (5, Funny)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452261)

If she's a boss, she'll tell you to get them, and then check out your ass.

Welcome to gender equality.

Re:Both can be equally bad (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452329)

Men and women are different, and generally manage in different ways, but saying is one better than the other is silly. Depends on the job, the situation, and who they are managing; and really, I think the individual makes all the difference.

Do women generally manage in a more democratic way? Maybe. But that doesn't mean better. Democracy sounds an awful like committee and nothing gets done. You need a boss that accepts input but also can make the tough decisions when they have to. If you tend one way, then you need to force yourself to do the other too.

I've had great and terrible bosses of both genders. My favorite boss was a woman (she knew her stuff and was great at keeping on top of things while not micromanaging, and she was awesome at managing the annoying things like really getting clients to figure out what they want before I programmed it), and a woman was also my very worst boss (micromanaged and criticized everything everyone did and caused at least one woman in the office to break down in tears about once a week and I hated every single minute of dealing with her).

No F'ing Way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451889)

I immediately decline any position where I have to report to a woman. Being married is tough enough.

Re:No F'ing Way (3, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452069)

Like we believe you are married...HA!

Re:No F'ing Way (2)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452241)

I immediately decline any position where I have to report to a woman. Being married is tough enough.

So, you have no experience that would tell you whether a woman would be a better manager for you.

Being a spouse is a VERY different kind of relationship than being a manager or employee. (If not, you are doing something very wrong, either at home or at work.)

Re:No F'ing Way (3, Funny)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452383)

Hey man, maybe he's just into that kind of thing. Behind closed doors and all... sheesh - be a little more open minded!

That's been my experience (5, Interesting)

dtmos (447842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451893)

In my career, I've had good male managers and good female managers. The difference is that, while I've had several male managers that were priggish martinets, I've not had a female manager with similar qualities.

Anecdotal experience is not law, of course, and I could have been the beneficiary of just not having a large enough sample size of female managers, but that's been my experience.

Re:That's been my experience (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452077)

I've also worked under quite a few female and male managers. I've had good and bad experiences with both. I am deeply skeptical that sex is the major variable. It may well be true that men are more likely to be authoritarian, but that hasn't been my experience. I could theorize from anecdotal evidence that women have various common qualities, but I suspect that other male managers I haven't happened to work for have had those same qualities.

I think the major variable is competence. Competence is a hard thing to achieve for managers, because they get a lot of really bad training, or in many cases no training. In the set of all managers who are poorly trained, it's probably true that for reasons which may be cultural or may be innate, there are measurable differences between the problems women have and the problems men have. But I think it's equally likely that among managers who are competent, these differences lose their significance. I think that organizations looking to have better management would be well advised to focus on competence rather than on sex.

Re:That's been my experience (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452311)

Managers tend to either be people who were good at their jobs so got promoted into a position they were not good at, or people who are career managers and don't know enough about what the grunts actually do to be effective. There are some good bosses of course, but more accidentally than by design I think.

Re:That's been my experience (2)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452391)

This isn't true--there are managers who are good by design. They just aren't all that common, because it's rare for a company to reward people for that.

Re:That's been my experience (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452337)

The problem is that 'managers' are generally identified from the outset as 'management track' before they are given the opportunity to become competent. They are then shoved into a role too soon (you generally need at least two years of work to become competent at most any job) because someone above them wants to have less 1:1s and attend other work-less meetings instead.

Management is a ridiculous thing to have in general. There should never be any reason why a manager (and I'm a manager) should have less than 15 people under them. Why? Because managers don't do any real work. So why have 4 managers who make more money and do nothing and create more work for those under them?

Re:That's been my experience (2)

Marillion (33728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452091)

As a stereotype, women excel at consensus driven group dynamics. The best female managers I've had were ones who followed their instincts, steered the consensus, and made groups work. Female managers who either trained to be to tried to be more like the stereotypical alpha-male manager who orders from the top down and expects unquestioning obedience have been miserable managers. It's also been my experience that the same is true of male managers.

Re:That's been my experience (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452139)

I think your experience is a common one. I think the reason for this is that there are still some barriers to women being able to achieve management positions, so the few that make it have to be VERY good. I have not worked for a female manager, but I have had my share of both very good and very terrible male managers. I think the market for male managers is quite diluted.

Re:That's been my experience (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452149)

Men can be "priggish". But the biggest conniving politically backstabbing manipulative cunts I have worked with were women. They hone their skills talking trash and being bitches and backstabbing other women and girls as they grow up then apply these skills in business. Most men are more up front and you are less likely to be stabbed in the back since men's minds don't normally work this way or as much. Men might sucker punch you, but it is still easier to see and avoid than I knife in the back. And yes you politically correct mantra spewers, men's and women's brains are different (spacial versus language).

Re:That's been my experience (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452189)

In my career, I've had good male managers and good female managers. The difference is that, while I've had several male managers that were priggish martinets, I've not had a female manager with similar qualities.

The worst boss I've ever had was a woman. She was autocratic, ruled by intimidation and fear, and couldn't see outside a rigid hierarchy to save her life. She was the absolute personification of a Dilbert PHB (pointy haired boss, for you young'uns). Just about everyone hated her, and her name is still the butt of jokes at work, some eight years after she left.

Not sure if I should mention she happened to be a lesbian...

Re:That's been my experience (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452209)

Some people suck and some people are great. Sex has absolutely nothing to do with personality or ability to manage.

Re:That's been my experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452217)

My anecdotal experience is that being a woman doesn't automatically make one a more democratic manager. I've had male and female managers. One of my female managers was by far the worst manager I have ever had. She was incompetent, inconsistent, acrimonious, and had the attitude of "it's my way or the highway".

It might depend on the organization ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451899)

Would a woman be able to manage "Steve Jobs" style? Would a company like Apple be better off with more feminine leadership? I doubt it...

Re:It might depend on the organization ... (4, Funny)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451997)

I think it's safe to say that Steve Jobs did not lead in a way that was similar to most masculine-driven companies. He constantly choose to go against what everyone said "worked" and made everyone "change" their thoughts to agree with him. That sounds fairly feminine to me.

Re:It might depend on the organization ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452055)

Even though that might be true, I'm pretty sure Steve wasn't very democratic in his decisions - the main point of the article is that woman could be responsible for more democratic decision making.

Re:It might depend on the organization ... (3, Insightful)

Calsar (1166209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452075)

I think that is the exact opposite of the approach described. Apple was more of a dictatorship than a democracy.

Re:It might depend on the organization ... (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452289)

If you get a vote, it's a democracy - even if I twist your arm to "convince" you to vote the way I want.
It's a sham of a democracy, but it's still a democracy.

Re:It might depend on the organization ... (3, Insightful)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452079)

I share your doubt. Women may lead more democratically, but that doesn't always come out with the best outcome... Different? Yes. Better? Not always. The title tries to twist the words of the summary. I didn't read the article.

Anecdotal (5, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451905)

I've done some of my best work under women. :-)

Re:Anecdotal (1)

mrops (927562) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452103)

Funny, I have done my best work over women

Re:Anecdotal (3, Funny)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452135)

how many monitors do you go through in a month?

Re:Anecdotal (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452193)

How many women do you have tattoed on your palms??

Re:Anecdotal (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452185)

Sounds like the women were doing all the work.

LOL

Re:Anecdotal (2)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452317)

Then you're doing it wrong.

Re:Anecdotal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452237)

You mean being topped by a transsexual.

It's lucky that the study didn't find the opposite (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451935)

Because it would have been sexism.

Re:It's lucky that the study didn't find the oppos (4, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452129)

Er no it wouldn't. There are hundreds of studies that show that women are worse than men on a wide range of tasks. Not the least, almost everything that is physically challenging. I hate this notion people have that research is somehow censored to be politically correct and that it is therefore not trustworthy.

Re:It's lucky that the study didn't find the oppos (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452225)

I think it becomes sexism when the research in question transitions from a peer-reviewed journal to the popular press.

Re:It's lucky that the study didn't find the oppos (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452313)

I hate this notion people have that research is somehow censored to be politically correct and that it is therefore not trustworthy.

As long as the research is only discussed among educated researchers, you are correct. Yet if some scientist gets on TV and says that women are somehow less able than men to perform some task, politics kicks in -- the researcher is obviously a misogynist (unless the researcher is a woman, in which case she is just misguided). It does not matter what the results say, what matters is that nobody ever publicly suggests that women are less capable.

Re:It's lucky that the study didn't find the oppos (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452339)

I hate this notion people have that research is somehow censored

Those ones sure don't get a lot of air time. ;)

Re:It's lucky that the study didn't find the oppos (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452363)

Not censored, but they are sometimes attacked by groups outside of academia.

Re:It's lucky that the study didn't find the oppos (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452157)

As far as my anecdotal evidence goes, every female boss, CEO, manager or whatever has been ruthless. They were not good to work with at all. In fact, I now tend to avoid companies that are run by women. I mean I don't assume they're all bad but as soon as I see some of the warning signs then I back off.

They seem on average to be much more unforgiving and have higher demands than male bosses and will cut your throat if you don't bow to them.

It may have something to do with what it takes to become a female leader but I think it's more to do with the nature of women themselves. Look at how they treat each other. They're less likely to hand out physical abuse than males but their emotional and similar abuse can be much more brutal.

Wrong Location (4, Insightful)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451939)

I must being a bad location then. I find most women in manager positions are good, but very authoritative. Which makes sense for the reason that they were able to get to that position to begin with. I'm not saying that it makes them bad in any sort of way I just don't see a female manager being any more cooperative than a male manager. In both cases it truly comes down to how that individual initially got to their position.

Re:Wrong Location (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452387)

When you say authoritative, do you mean arrogant?

Yeah but how much work gets done? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451943)

I had a woman boss who could chat-up a storm, but I wasn't getting any work done during that ~3 hours wasted per week.

On the other hand she did get me a promotion (+$5000 more per year). I doubt my old male boss would have bothered.

There are pros and cons.

Yea, but... (0, Redundant)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451947)

Only if she's really, really hot.

It's sexist, but it's ok (5, Insightful)

Dinghy (2233934) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451949)

Because it's pro-woman.

Re:It's sexist, but it's ok (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452137)

Being a white american male, I have come to accept that the 75% who make up the various 'minorities' in this country will hate me.

It all depends... (0, Troll)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451951)

...is she hot?

Only with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451957)

miniskirt.

Yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451985)

according to women.

The main difference (4, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451993)

The main difference I've found between men and women as bosses over the years is I have never had a woman try to pull a power trip, leveraging the "authority" of their position to try to force me to do something they wanted.

Men, on the other hand, sometimes think that a title means they have power over me. How soon they learn...

Re:The main difference (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452111)

I have seen that quality in both genders equally. Then again, 50% of my managers have been women. I expect you wouldn't see some qualities if the ratio of manager genders was disproportionate (you would see a broader spectrum of one than the other).

Re:The main difference (1)

countach74 (2484150) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452207)

Really? I've had both varieties grasp for "power" and "authority." It seems often that the women who make it to management are very hardened; this isn't to say that all of them are, but my experience is a good number are. I've had both good and bad experiences with female management, as I have with male management. At least with men, I don't have to play mind games.

I have patience to deal with exactly one woman and that is my wife. If I have to spend that patience and energy on another woman, the less I'll have left for the woman who deserves it most.

Re:The main difference (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452279)

That's just a matter of experience: I've had female bosses who definitely were willing to pull the "I'm your boss and I said so" card.

Also, I saw a woman pull the most Machiavellian move I've seen in management: She was competing against another executive for a promotion, got it (for reasons that are still a mystery to me, since she had run her division into the ground while his division was doing better than expected), and within 36 hours had fired the competitor and everyone associated with him.

Re:The main difference (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452345)

I may have been lucky, but I don't think so. Women are more prone to use subtle manipulation over brute force, at least with North American women. Some of the South American women I've met were more heavy handed, but after seeing the interactions with their spouses in their homes, I'm pretty sure that's cultural rather than innate behaviour.

In other words, my experience has been that women will go to the effort of convincing you to do something; men are more prone to try to just order you to do it.

I'd say about 1/4-1/3 of my supervisors and bosses have been women. Not a bad ratio, considering the dominance of men in the IT industries.

Re:The main difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452385)

Of a small sample size of 4, only one female boss I've had would insist I do something that I demonstrated would go horribly wrong. After she asked me to blow half a million on Bing(which had so far only caused 5 cents of sales per dollar spent), I suggested that if she wanted somebody who would do something that stupid, she'd have to contract a specialist because I wasn't qualified.

She had my termination drawn up before I finished my resignation letter, but I've never been so happy to be fired. Especially after she was let go when the firm she outsourced advertising to screwed up so bad the adwords account(which did $1.90/$spent) was suspended, putting advertising ROI into the red until the account was reinstated.

That said, the other three bosses were better than any male boss I've ever had.

Definetly worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452001)

I can't fall in love into man boss.
I did however lost one job because of fancing my boss, so no. I could be more productive under male boss :P

Re:Definetly worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452169)

That was the reason you lost your job as a proof-reader. Yeah, right.

When I was in school (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452003)

The only female boss I ever had was at this hole in the wall pizza and sub shop she owned. We smoked a joint while cleaning up the first night and I fucked her in the ass on her desk. It was a good job.

women better for large, stable organizations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452017)

Men tend to have jumpier personalities than women, which can be an asset or liability (sometimes both), depending on the situation. The "two standard deviations from the mean" bosses, in either direction, tend to be men. The consensus personality might not as well suited to management in a startup because circumstances change rapidly, and sometimes innocent butts have to be kicked.

Of course there are outstanding exceptions like Mrs. Thatcher.

Feminism. Glad you accepted it now guys? (5, Insightful)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452019)

Men do better in a role - "Men and women are equals. The men must have had an unfair advantage. Reperations will have to be made."

Women do better a role - "Women's brains must be wired up in a way that makes them better at certain things. Or perhaps it's down to hormones or genetics."

Re:Feminism. Glad you accepted it now guys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452145)

Nope. This is just science. Dispute their method/results if you wish, but it has nothing to do with politics.

If you think about it for a while it does make sense that women would be better (in a wiring sense) for management than men. They're better at multitasking, relationships, and are usually more organized than men.

Re:Feminism. Glad you accepted it now guys? (4, Interesting)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452379)

Actually, the opposite is really true. Studies have shown that women are generally better at one on one relationships and not typically as good at dealing with large groups and their dynamics. Men thrive more in the tribal, large group environments which is a large reason women typically don't do as well in the business world. Note the liberal uses of the word "typical". Here's a good podcast with references: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2011/11/baumeister_on_g.html [econtalk.org]

Re:Feminism. Glad you accepted it now guys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452201)

Women do better a role - "Women's brains must be wired up in a way that makes them better at certain things. Or perhaps it's down to hormones or genetics."

Oh please God, pleas please please, let there be a correlation between breast size and managerial ability!

I will start going to church again if that's true!

Re:Feminism. Glad you accepted it now guys? (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452297)

bosses are bosses, you just have to know how to exploit them, just as they exploit you.

Re:Feminism. Glad you accepted it now guys? (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452381)

Wow. I have to say that I should be surprised at the amount of vitriol directed at women, but sadly, I'm just reminded of the stereotype of the basement-dwelling nerd.

Just a few notes to maybe help you get out of the basement:
#1 Feminism isn't about reparations. It's about giving women a chance to do the same things that men are doing - like run a business, smoke a cigar, and play golf in a golf club. Basically, have a chance to do something other than cook, bear children and be a secretary.
#2 Removing glass ceilings is not the same as reparations. If you feel that way, it's merely an indication that you have no idea how large your advantage actually has been, and that you are pissed that you have to compete on a level playing field.
#3 Women ARE better at certain things than men are. Driving consensus is one of them. Or at least, that's what science says. Feel free to piss and moan about it, but it's not going to change the fact.

The moment you judge... (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452027)

The moment you judge a person by any simple facet, gender or race or anything else, you are doing them and yourself a great disservice, even when you judge them positively. Human beings are individually very complex, and no characteristic, even when supported with loads of statistical evidence about that characteristic is going to inform you properly. Judge individuals as individuals, in the context you deal with them. Anything else is a major failing on your part.

This is not to impugn this study; statistics are useful and can be used in all sorts of intriguing ways. Just never let them stand in front of the individual qualities of a human being.

Re:The moment you judge... (2)

countach74 (2484150) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452291)

Stereotypes often exist for good reason. I never base a final judgement on them, but before I've had a chance to deal with someone individually, as you've said, I assume the stereotype (but it's ready to be overturned at a moment's notice). For me, the exception is racial stereotypes: I don't care much for preforming an opinion of someone based solely of their ethnicity. Except for Jews: they're always so damn good with money... Oh, and Asians: racial advantage with video games for sure.

Re:The moment you judge... (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452331)

That is true. It is still true to make universal statements about what men and women are better at. It may well happen that this person doesn't fit the statistical average, and that that is reasonably common (although by definition not the majority), but it remains true that given a random person on the street you can judge them according to statistical stereotypes, and you will probably be right.

Now, if they should prove differently and you fail to accept that, that is your problem. But the fact remains that gender (and yes, race) do influence behavior patterns, if for no other reason than biology. The same biological factors that cause women to develop female physical characteristics also influence behavior and mental characteristics. Does society and upbringing play a role? Yes, and a big one. But keep in mind that societal roles do proceed partially from evolutionary and physical characteristics as well. Men are physically stronger than women (because of testosterone), so they are naturally more capable of jobs that require great physical strength (hunting, fighting), and therefore society fits them into that role, because they tend to be better at it on the whole. Does that mean women can't fill those roles? No. It just means that on the whole, men happen to be better at it. A certain women might happen to be better than most men (possibly, even all). But initial judgments should be made from the average, not the exception, since that will be accurate most of the time.

Wouldn't know, never had one... (4, Informative)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452057)

In my engineering jobs, sex roles have always been... ahem, traditional - this is at about 8 different jobs in two Southern US states over the last 25 years. Same applied to the grocery store I worked in.

The "women bosses" I have had the most experience with are elementary school principals... they have run the gamut from insecure totalitarian witches to the ineffective ostrich to genuine warm caring professionals who do the right thing - not much different from the men I have had as bosses.

Nope (1)

WankerWeasel (875277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452061)

The biggest obstacle standing in the way of promotion in the workplace for a woman is another women. Female bosses hate to see another woman succeed and will do what they can to prevent it from happening.

Yeah...Not So Much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452083)

Of the women that I have seen in authority positions, most have seen it necessary to "prove" themselves. They wanted to prove that they could do whatever they felt like. Often, their actions would be erratic or unexplained and certainly a violation of common sense. As for the democracy mentioned in the article, I have yet to see it.

MBAs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452085)

any idiot can get an MBA regardless of the penis count

Opposite Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452087)

In my experience, the craziest meanest bosses I had were all women. Now this doesn't mean that all women, or even most women will behave this way as a boss, but at least in my experience they all did. This could be because of the line of work I've been in, first the military, then law enforcement and now counter terrorism. So maybe women that work I that field are just different, but the men were fairly laid back, hard driving but fun bosses. The women were all a combo of crazy and just mean.

Who cares? (1)

Troyusrex (2446430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452095)

Even if female bosses tend to be more democratic that doesn't mean that YOUR particular female boss is. When are we going to stop judging people by their gender, race or ethnicity and start judging them by the job they do?

Democratic way... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452105)

Because "group think" is good for business? Vote now!
Our customer base is shrinking we need to cut people to reduce costs... vote now!
Do we buy new software? vote now!
Raises for everybody? vote now!

Democracy isn't a way to make a business successful. Corporations are oligarchies. Sole proprietor is a kingship/dictatorship.

Democracy in business is like anarchy in business... it's only good for lose-lose conflict resolution.

Re:Democratic way... (2)

vanye (7120) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452281)

100% agree.

Business is not democratic - everyone isn't equal.

The janitor doesn't get to vote on strategic direction.

That doesn't mean that the dictator has to be malevolent - benevolent dictatorship seems to work well (from my pov).

Responsibility and Authority should go hand in hand - when they don't that's when organizations become dysfunctional.

No, they don't. Next question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452115)

No, women don't make better bosses. They aren't necessarily worse either.

Women in power tend to over compensate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452119)

In my experience from working as a salesman, women in a position of power overcompensate to avoid being considered weak. There are exceptions of course, but it appeared that most of the women business owners that I dealt with seemed to think they had to act like an asshole in order to command respect.

Yes!!, Definitely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452123)

In all the videos i watched, they are great bosses, always willing to *reward* the good work and *encourage* those how need it. Plus they look great!

Lots of anecdotal evidence coming, I'm sure. (4, Interesting)

hiryuu (125210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452133)

Since everyone's going to chime in with their perspective from experience, I'll add mine. I've had several managers in the course of my career, at multiple companies and on both sides of the gender fence. I've also needed different levels and styles of management at different points in my career, and have experienced both "good" and "bad" bosses along the way.

Early on, when I was more likely to need guidance and suggestions (in learning time management and prioritization, communications skills, etc.), I found much better and more involved management from the women than the men. The women were more likely to take the time to observe and try to understand where the deficiencies were, and to advise me in a non-confrontational way about how to proceed and what to learn from the situation.

As I grew in my abilities and my confidence, though, I was more likely to run into conflicts and differences with some of those same women managers. Communication was less direct than it needed to be, personality differences became more of an issue than they were with male managers, and occasionally, problems would escalate to a passive-aggressive undermining. Conversely, men in management seemed more likely to recognize and acknowledge my increasing competence, and when corrective communication was needed it was short, direct, and efficient.

Don't underestimate the effect of corporate culture, though, on management styles - my opinion is that bad management is caused by culture as much as culture is an effect of bad management. I think it's very much a chicken-and-egg thing, in that regard, but there's definitely an influence at play.

In the years since I've entered management, I've swapped back and forth between two upper managers (depending upon company re-orgs), both of whom have decided that the best way to manage me is to leave me the hell alone. My current boss has told me that, as far as he's concerned, my department is a black box - resources go in, profit comes out, it all runs seamlessly and quietly, and that's all he needs to know. :)

Nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452141)

In my experience, having worked for multiple female managers, women are nightmares to work for. They are simply too inconsistent. They may live in the emotion of the moment, and their decisions change from moment to moment. I would also add that every women I've discussed this with has either agreed or even volunteered (said before me) that women are difficult to work for.

Analysis incomplete (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452143)

Melero analyzed this data by looking at the number of women in management positions in companies and the leadership tactics employed at those companies. He found increased communication between management and employees in companies with women in management positions led to more well-informed decisions, since employee feedback will be utilized in the decision-making process.

"Well informed decisions" sounds completely subjective - i.e., it doesn't mean squat. Were the companies in the study more profitable than those run by evil penis people?

Don't forget self-selection (4, Interesting)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452163)

There is a bias against hiring women in leadership positions. It follows that the standards a female manager has to meet are higher than those of a male manager, and therefore the female managers who do get hired likely have above average communication and leadership qualities.

Do Women Make Better Bosses? (2)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452167)

No.
Being a good leader is not gender dependent.

Anecdotally speaking (1, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452191)

Many of the women I know have complained about female bosses, in part because 'these workplaces decisions are made more democratically and more interpersonal channels of communications are established'. They want a boss who tells them what to do and gets out of the way, not one who spends half their time asking people what they should be doing.

Beats me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452195)

Every female boss I've ever had got the job through networking. You know, that thing people do where they get jobs they're incompetent at because they're good at making the people in charge like them? It's not isolated to women, I've had plenty of male bosses that are equally incompetent.

In my experience female bosses really tend to have a problem with what I'd call "professional relationships." I'm here to do my job, not be your friend. And God help you when they finally write you off as a potential friend; you immediately become an enemy to be crushed rather than a respected asset.

female bosses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452215)

In education, my experience has been that the female principal, vice principal, etc., has been more dictatorial. Sometimes, this has been out of a fear of her own position.

Usually, no, but the difference is small (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452231)

Out of the dozen or so bosses I've had in life, one female was really good. The remaining female bosses ranged from mediocre with one that was incredibly, absolutely awful. About three of my male bosses were really good, with the remainder being mediocre and none being truly awful. I doubt there's a huge difference though. I think it's just my own quirky experience.

The former. (4, Insightful)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452275)

is it women managers who are the behind these policies, or is it that more progressive organizations are more accessible for women leaders than other workplaces

In my experience, it's the former.
My last boss was male, and he was very open to ideas and input.
My boss before that was female, and she was a complete tyrant.

You'll find people with similar stories, or opposite. It's a matter of chance.
Gender makes no difference, it's all on the individual.

The only difference it DOES make, is that I might be attracted to a female boss.

Again... (3, Insightful)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452303)

"men and women are the same in every way except the ways that women are better." Typical femnatzi logic that would get anyone tarred and feathered were the logic reversed. I'm sure some women make great bosses just like some men do. How about we stop caring about averages and about case by case basis? If a woman is a great boss, keep her! If a woman is a terrible boss, fire her! Same goes for men.

What is this, crap statistics day? (3, Interesting)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452307)

First we get bad statistics about the relationship between supply and demand in the oil market, and now a bad statistics "study" of management styles?
What's next, a sure-fire way to win the lottery?

Reverse discrimination... (5, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452335)

Anyone want to guess what the reaction would be if an article posed the question, "Do men make better bosses?" or "Do whites make better bosses?" My view of this article is no different. Sorry women.

Putting aside the gender aspect for a moment... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452365)

There is a point where 'more democratic' can become a liability. Sure, you don't want leaders going off half-cocked without the correct information or being in tune with what their teams can realistically achieve, but I have observed the other extreme, project leadership paralyzed by indecision while trying to pursue consensus that isn't going to happen.

I've also noted that leadership on the extreme end of listening and honoring the views of the teams unfortunately frequently fails to convey the business needs for fear of seeming too pushy or not trusting of the employee judgement. An employee faced with more work than be possibly acheived by the deadline is sometimes asked to make the call themselves without knowing the relative business impact of the choices.

In short, sometimes overly democratic leaders tend to not lead at all.

They can be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452377)

29 days out of the month... the one other day you better hope you don't screw up.
Menstruation Frustration!

Huh? (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39452393)

Unless they've found a way to grow managers in tanks (which might explain a few things) don't women make all of them?

The other conclusion we can pull... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39452399)

Implying from this research, couldn't we say that women rule more democratically and appear to be better leaders because they can not make decisions themselves, and thus need to consult with their employees as to the best courses of action to take in any give scenario?

I often find this to be true in my line of work (military). I am not saying that all women are weak leaders, just saying that multiple conclusions could be pulled from this research.

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