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Women Having Authority Over Men In The Workplace.

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logongra | 09:05 Sat 03rd Jun 2017 | Society & Culture
38 Answers
I recently posted about being disciplined at work for poor performance, I’d missed some targets and a deadline. For nearly all of my working life I’ve worked in jobs where the vast majority of staff have been male and I have always had male mangers.

My current job is very different, around 80% of staff are female and I now have a female manager. She is mid 20’s and much younger than me though I have got on well with her.
When I missed my targets, my manager arranged some disciplinary hearings where she brought in an HR adviser to assist her with disciplining me. The HR adviser was also female though I would assume that most HR advisers are, she was a lot younger than me, possibly no older than teenage.

Though I can accept that there was some justification in disciplining me, I have to admit that I have found this a difficult situation to take, it’s like I somehow feel that it is wrong that younger women should have authority over me when of course it is not. I know that taking criticism or in this case discipline from women of whatever age should not be any different to taking it from men.

I can even accept that both my manager and the HR adviser are very competent in their job roles and that despite their young age, I’m sure they will have achieved their positions of authority on merit. I know that this is somehow down to my own attitude and that I will have to learn and get used to.

What I would like to know is have any other men found it difficult to accept women in the workplace having authority over them and have any other women had any similar issues with authority over men working for them?


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I am not offended, just surprised at you.
I am ancient now & I can honestly say I have never had an issue with women being in charge anywhere, I have always been comfortable with the fact that the maternal instinct which is born with most women makes them natural leaders & before you guys take umbrage with me come on you know it makes sense.
Come on Tilly...lighten up !

For the record, I have had female bosses for the last 8 years and have never had a trouble whatsoever.
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Yes Hymie, the question you were asked would have seemed strange and unlikely back in the 1970’s. As I am finding out, things are very different today with many young women in managerial and positions of authority.

My manger is aged mid 20’s and she brings in an HR adviser to discipline me who looked possibly no older than a teenage girl. Back in the 1970’s or even more recently, I’m sure that there is no way that this could have happened.
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I'm not offended mikey4444!
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Well I'm going to go against the grain :-0 Working in the Civil Service for many years in a very male dominated environment I have found most of the females who've risen to high ranks have been super biatches and backstabbed their way to the top. Men are generally far more open and honest. But then I like men.
I am not sure how anyone can say in this context that they “like men” or “like women”? Surely there are backstabbers, idiots, creeps, bullies and so on in all genders?
Fine I'll expand - most of my life my best friends have been men, I prefer their company and find their personalities more attractive. I find male ABers for example, even when they are disagreeing do it in a more acceptable way than many of the female posters - of which there is a long list who are likely to give one a snippy answer. And of course there are bad traits in any gender.
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Question Author
I have worked for a few bosses just like you mention divebuddy, totally clueless, always quick to take the credit that their staff deserve and always quick to blame their staff when something goes wrong!

However I have to say the two women who I've had to deal with in this case, were very competent. One was of course my manager who I know is good at her job, the other was the HR adviser who I hadn't previously met as she works in HR and was just brought in to discipline me. For her very young age she seemed to know procedures well and certainly came across as being very knowledgeable and competent at her job.
On two occasions it was necessary to discipline staff members, on both occasions I called on mediators and HR.

The mediator was my choice and involving HR was company protocol.

Both times were difficult but the situations were resolved not to the liking of the staff members in question, unfortunately for them. However, the rest of the teams in question were relieved that the person they were either carrying or scared of were dealt with.
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Thank you for your reply EcclesCake, I can appreciate that it is a difficult situation for managers when they need to discipline a member of staff as you found, though it does sound like you did your job very well and resolved an unpleasant situation for your other staff, so I would say well done to you.

Obviously it is not pleasant for the member of staff who has been disciplined as I have experienced, but did you detect on either occasion that the members of staff showed any particular disliking of being disciplined by a female manager?
One definitely did, I was younger, female and a subordinate in his mind. However, he was a highly manipulative bully who used mind games to entertain himself. He was finally dealt with by senior management when I said I'd resign if something wasn't done about his outrageous behaviour, fortunately they wanted me more than him. Somehow he kept his job but when he did leave he sneered at everyone of his colleagues for being so weak. I have no words to describe this individual and the pain he caused his colleagues.

The other chap was a stubborn mule who wouldn't address his health issues even though they were endangering him and others. I sort of understood his fear but was worried for others. The work issue was more about his stubbornness and the fact that he was a total PITA.
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I don't fit the description of either of the male employees you had to discipline EcclesCake, at least I hope not! In fact my co-workers have been very supportive and told me they think I was unfortunate to be disciplined.

When I missed my targets, not everything was entirely my fault and this was partly accepted but they said that I could have done more and should have asked for extra support. This happened twice which is why I was disciplined.

I have accepted this and I will make sure that I don't make the same mistakes again so I am confident that I will be able to show a good improvement in future.

Overall though, although I can accept that there was some justification, I have found it difficult to accept being disciplined by two female members of staff who are a lot younger than me.

Many members including yourself have posted some very helpful replies and it is now down to myself to adjust. This has been the first time that I have ever been disciplined for a poor standard of work and I am very much hoping that it will be the last.
It is not pleasant to be judged and consequently disciplined, I quite understand your consternation and discomfort.

You could never be as bad as the chaps I had to discipline, they were nightmares in their own individual ways.

You have already moved on, you have stopped referring to them as 'girls', this isn't a narky comment just an observation.

I wish you well and hope you find the strength to move on after this unfortunate episode and excel.
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Thank you EcclesCake for your comments. It's a good observation that I had been referring to the two women who dealt with me as 'girls'. Despite their young age, they are professional women and when they disciplined me they did so in a professional manner.

I was told that I will be given ample opportunity to show an improvement and I am confident that I can do so.
Well it made me smile Mikey, mainly because they don't clean it. Like they say, a women's work is never done.
(And the old ones are the best.)

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