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Stage #1 of Final Paper - Essay Example

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I have been working for a transportation company for 18 years, where I have held several positions, one of which was serving as a service manager for the bus department. During this time, there were few female managers, and we all felt that we needed to toughen up our image in…
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Stage #1 of Final Paper
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I have been working for a transportation company for 18 years, where I have held several positions, one of which was serving as a service manager forthe bus department. During this time, there were few female managers, and we all felt that we needed to toughen up our image in front of our mainly male employees. At times, I felt that I was too serious and, sometimes, even cruel, as a disciplinarian, because without this “strong, aggressive image,” I perceived that I was less respected by male peers and subordinates. I believe that many female managers, specifically those in male-dominated industries, are feeling the pressure of “acting like men,” so that they can gain respect and establish and protect their authority. Being too nice to employees, for instance, is seen as a weakness, of being “too soft or too womanly,” a negative trait ascribed to female managers. As a result, I became a tough manager, in other words, a “male manager” that fit gender expectations about management.
An example of the need for being acting like a male manager was when a male employee, Sergio, got a complaint from a male customer, Jason. Jason accused Sergio of being a racist, when he said that Sergio sounded “so nice” when talking with Hispanics, but unruly and arrogant with “white male customers.” Sergio admitted that he had a different tone when he spoke with Jason, but this was because he claimed that Jason made a racist remark first. When Jason entered the bus, he looked at Sergio and said, “These Mexicans are taking our jobs dude,” referring to his male companion, who nodded. I understood the racial tension between the two but because we have a company policy against discrimination, I suspended Sergio for a month, which he got angry with saying I was “too harsh, like I didn’t know what it means to be a minority.” Because of his comments, I often thought about why I needed to toughen up as a manager, which shows n perceptions and what I think as social perceptions about the role of gender in creating and enforcing management attitudinal and behavioral expectations. Read More
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