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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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As a male carer of 59, nearly all my colleagues, my supervisors and management are all younger than me. As long as they are competent in their role, I have no issues whatsoever, and to be honest it never really occurred to me.
As a female, no, have never had any issues regarding the age or gender of my managers......only issues over their ability.
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It never actually occurred to me either RATTER15 and I had no issues with my manager or colleagues until this incident. I know I just need to accept it but I've somehow found it hard to take.
I think occasionally we find out biases about ourselves that are very uncomfortable, like there is a guy with a UKIP sign in his garden in the village and recently there has been a massive drive to stop kids playing on the green, and I thought I bet it's him leading the moaning and it was, and I really struggled at the meeting about it to be cordial and pleasant to him when I do pride myself on not being discriminatory about anyone, I'd have cheerfully chucked him down a well lol :) As long as you know this about yourself, which you clearly do, you can work on it :)
I applaud you're honesty, welcome to the new society , women are taking over the world (not quite ) :-)
Morning kval > there is a guy with a UKIP sign in his garden in the village...

Paul Nuttall lives in your village? Wow! ;-)
No it's the other one Ag :)

Logongra - you will be fine. Snakes and Ladders of life and all that...
It is an attitude thing - after years of being a senior manager in one industry I started again at the very bottom of another. All my new colleagues and managers were female and (mostly) younger than me.

I seemed to spend a lot of the first few weeks making tea and washing up the crocks - didn't worry me at all. But it was, I was later told, an informal test - one quibble and I'd have been out on my ear - as happened subsequently to another new recruit who felt she was a bit above being a tea maker. My boss needed a team who would muck in and pull together - divas weren't useful.

I've seen (too many) incompetent managers in their 50s and some very effective ones in their 20s - try to focus on whether your colleagues are doing the job well and whether they are treating you fairly.

The time that criticism sticks in my throat is when someone is hiding their own incompetence by blaming me - if that's not the case, then try to engage positively with your new manager(s) and work with them to sort out the issues.

After years in a (mainly) male working environment it was a significant culture shock to find the roles reversed - but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
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Yes Kvalidir, I do recognise that this is about myself. This the first job where I have had a female manager, the first job where I have had a manager younger than myself, the first time I have had any dealing with an HR adviser and the first time I have ever been disciplined in any job I've had. So lots of firsts there!

It's a transition I will have to get used to and I will work on this.
I was a female manager in a male dominated industry I had mixed levels of success. I don't think my gender was ever an issue just differing personalities.

I had a male manager with whom I had a tumultuous relationship, some years later he told me I was the only woman he would have worked for!
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Some very interesting comments there sunny-dave. You seem to have gone through a similar change to me in being used to working in a male dominated working environment and then having a change to where most of your managers are now female and younger than you.

I too have seen some very incompetent managers in the 50's and I know just what you mean by some of them trying to hide their own incompetence by blaming their staff. However like you say some younger managers have much better ability, my current manager in her 20’s is actually very good at her job. I have to admit that in my recent case both my manager and the HR adviser went through the procedures well and disciplined me in a professional manner.

That’s a very interesting thing about the informal test you were put through with tea making and washing up. I have found that some people can come across very well in interviews but when they actually start the job and they are asked to do certain tasks, they think they are above them!
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Thank you anneasquith, it does sometimes feel a bit like women are taking over the world and young women at that! My female manager is in her mid 20's, the HR adviser who she brought in to assist with disciplining me was probally no older than a teenage girl, yet they did their job in a professional manner and I'm sure they are both where they are in the company on merit.
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EcclesCake, in your time as a manager did you ever have to discipline any of your mlae members of staff? If you did, were there ever any issues that you can recall?
I'm not overly good at criticism from anyone, gender and age making little difference. One of the major benefits of leaving the rat race was no more scheduled appraisals to be done down at and made to feel bad at just being me. Nowadays folk can keep their warped opinions to themselves. Relative bliss.
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That's interesting to hear Old_Geezer, I don't think that I've had an issue with accepting criticism previously, but I haven't really had to take it from younger females until now and all of a sudden I seem to have an issue with it. I'm n full agreement with you about the scheduled appraisals, I find them a real pain!
During my career I have been asked whether I would object to working for a female boss; and whether I would object to working for someone younger than me.

Personally I thought both questions very strange; although the question re a female boss was asked back in the 70s – things were very different then. can always try sympathising with women's problems with the Glass Ceiling....... saying how difficult it must be to keep it clean.
Mikey, that is a very sexist comment.

Who cleans your windows? was meant to be amusing....sorry if it offended wasn't my intention.

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