Women as Managers
From Caribbean 360 e-newsletter July 7, 2006
In the Caribbean, as with most of the world, women are a fact of
life in management.
And not just under-management either; in more and more companies, women are taking
an increasing role in senior management as well - especially in the service industries.
Now I love everything about women, even though, as a man, I possibly sustain a slightly
patronising attitude. But let me admit upfront that I believe that women generally
out-perform men as managers (this is going to
get me in hot water, I can tell).
It wasn't always so. For many years, mainly because of derision and pressure from
male colleagues, women felt they had to be "men in skirts" at the office, and they
tried to behave all macho and tough. It wasn't their style, and they were terrible
at it. But now women are generally coming into their own (there are admittedly a
few hold-outs) and they are rewriting management in their own style. (By the way,
this is true in North America and Europe as well.)
What makes them better? Women are more in touch with their unconscious mind than
men are (we call it women's instinct) and that makes them astute managers of people
and issues. They can see things more wholistically than we males, who are bred to
stamp on our unconscious, as being too soft and prissy and feminine. (By the way,
that's why women love men like David Beckham so much: men who are not afraid to
show their emotions).
Many men still feel that women are gullible and easy to override in business situations.
never seen it. My experience is that they are as smart and as tough and as
decisive as any man. And usually one step ahead.
If there's one place women may still be weak, I suspect it's in managing other women.
There's a whole dynamic there that I'm not qualified to talk about, but I do have
my suspicions. And women try for too much; being both super mum at home and super
manager at work is an impossible task, and it frequently leads to guilt and despair.
It shouldn't; they need to take some pressures off themselves.
But overall, women are impressive and effective managers, and their presence is
spreading. Personally, I think we're in for a great future.
By Greg Hoyos
Greg Hoyos is the Founder and Chairman of GHA DDB; an affiliate of DDB Worldwide.