Self Analysis Paper - Essay Example

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Though it was hard for me to admit it at first, I realized that I work differently with the opposite and same sex, where I align my gender identity with the gender of my coworkers. I actually act more “masculine” when working with co-workers of the opposite sex than with the…
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Breaking Masculine Management Stereotypes: Becoming a Woman Manager in My Terms April 9, Though it was hard for me to admit it at first, I realized that I work differently with the opposite and same sex, where I align my gender identity with the gender of my coworkers. I actually act more “masculine” when working with co-workers of the opposite sex than with the same sex where my “femininity” is more apparent, although, as a manager, I generally project a masculine form of management. I do this because I believe in the gender stereotype that men will generally respect female managers more when they behave more like men (Mirza & Jabeen, 2011, p.262). This is particularly more prevalent in male-dominated industries, such as the transportation industry, where I have been working for a long time. Others believe that an aggressive female manager will experience backlash, but not in my case, specifically when I work with men (Brescoll, 2011, p.626). As a result, when I work with the opposite sex, I act like a man who is more aggressive in expressing and negotiating my arguments and ideas. On the contrary, when I work with women, I am less aggressive and more empathetic. I prefer keeping peace than expressing aggressive ideas when dealing with women. Thus, I follow a double-standard approach when dealing with coworkers.
Upon realizing my double-standard gender behaviors, I have become aware that my strengths are my long experience in working with men, which makes me aware of their non-verbal and verbal language and my ability to project a strong image that can elicit respect from men, although I do need to improve on my ability to be firm without necessarily being masculinized in the process. Being in the transportation business for so long, I know how to “read” and respond to men. I agree with Kimmel (2009) that some men continue to preserve masculine identities, where they believe that they must be the primary breadwinners and decision-makers in their families (p.326). I know who among my coworkers are traditional in this way and who are more liberal, which is seen in how they speak and interact with men and women, including female managers. This knowledge allows me to adapt to male egoism and how I can reduce their anxiety of being under a female manager. Another source of strength of mine is that I can gain the respect of male subordinates. I do this through my masculine style of management, where I am direct in my rules and expectations and firm in my rewards and punishment measures. Despite these strengths, I do believe that I need to work on a more balanced gender management identity. I do not need to be too masculine when acting as a manager.
As a masculinized female manager, the stereotypes that I bring to the workplace are that to be an effective manager in a male-dominated industry and organization is to be masculine and to reject the “feminine” management style of submissiveness. I hold the gender stereotype of a male manager ideal, where male values and conduct are seen as more valuable than female ones (Brescoll, 2011, p.625). Another gender stereotype is rejecting femininity. I do not act submissive to male managers or subordinates. Instead, I assert my power through showing rationality in my thinking and presentation of evidence, sometimes to the point of avoiding the showing of emotions that is considered as feminine.
Three actions that I would like to take to improve my role in the workplace are self-criticism of my fear of losing power by becoming a gender-balanced manager, change in management mindset through changing my communication style, and improvement in gender sensitivity by promoting gender-awareness seminars in my organization. First, I want to cope with my fear of being powerless once I decrease my masculine management approach. I should stop feeling less entitled to my management position and believe in my management competencies (Kimmel, 2009, p.331). Second, I should change my communication style and become more gender-balanced. I should stop being too defensive and aggressive when dealing with male coworkers. Third, I should promote gender sensitivity by encouraging employees to attend gender-awareness seminars in the organization and community. If I want to change, I should also contribute to cultural changes in my organization, where we can altogether shift from masculine management to gender-balanced management.
Brescoll, V.L. (2011). Who takes the floor and why: Gender, power, and volubility in organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 56(4), 622-641.
Kimmel, M. (2009). Has a man’s world become a woman’s nation? In H. Boushey & A. O’Leary (Eds.), The Shriver Report: A woman’s nation changes everything (pp.322-357).
Mirza, A.M.B., & Jabeen, N. (2011). Gender stereotypes and women in management: The case of banking sector of Pakistan. South Asian Studies, 26(2), 259-284. Read More
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