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Working with a Female Boss

Working with a Female Boss

By Nanju Francisco

If you are reading this article, chances are, you have already experienced working with a female boss, one way or the other. Perhaps she was your immediate supervisor, head of Human Resources, head of Finance Department or even president of the company. One thing is for sure, nowadays many companies are hiring more women to hold key management positions, which leaves us “very little” or “no” choice at all but to deal with female bosses or superiors, whether we like it or not. 

Working with a female boss is a lot more “complicated” than you can ever imagine or expect. It is like trying to complete a puzzle with a missing piece, or pieces for that matter. You don’t have any idea what will happen in the coming days and you are not sure if you can “last” in your job, especially if you have an “unpredictable” female boss. 

In the course of my career, I had experienced so many times working with female bosses and I found out that there was a huge difference working with them than their male counterparts. Believe me, it is a very “huge” difference.And I am speaking based on my own personal experiences and not to put anyone down. I also experienced being onemyself, so I have a fair idea and know how a female boss thinks. Below are some of the things I learned about working with female bosses:

  1. Female bosses are “straight to the point” – After finishing my studies, I was eager to work in the media. My first boss was a female and it was quite a challenge for me.  She was always “direct” in dealing with us and sometimes was “brutally frank” if she did not like what we did or if we were not up to her expectations. Sometimes, her approached embarrassed and reduced me to tears, especially because she would discuss my mistakes in front of everyone in the office. It is one thing to be straight to the point and correct other people’s mistakes but it should be done in a proper way. I always believed that it should be done in private so as not to “embarrass”or “demean” the person concerned.

  2. Female bosses are “more meticulous” when it comes to work –One of the things that single out female bosses from their male counterparts is the fact that they are “more meticulous” when it comes to work. They would ask you for “more details” and “information” about how you solve the problem at hand whereas the male boss would not be so hard to convince. On the flipside, I learned a lot from my female bosses because of this trait. It taught me the importance of paying more attention to details while doing one’s work in order to save time and money.  

  3. Female bosses are “more difficult” to please – I don’t know why this is the case but based on my experience, it is “more difficult” to work with a female boss than a male one. Whenever I submitted my work to my male bosses in the past, they immediately approved it, without any questions or hassles. But it was entirely different whenever my female bosses were concerned. I would have to make revisions so many times until I finally get their approval. On the flipside, this taught me how to be “patient” and “understanding” of the female boss’s moods.
  4. Female bosses tend to “sometimes” get jealous of their staff –Early in my career, I found out that sometimes, your female boss could “get jealous” of you without a valid reason, which could “kill” your career in the process. My second female boss was like this. At first, she was “nice” to me and “proud” of having me in her team. After a few months, I noticed that she suddenly became “cold” and “moody” especially to me. She would always “belittle” what I did and would say bad or negative things that would hurt my feelings. I asked her one time if there was something that she did not like about me but she would not talk to me about it. I had no idea what was her reason for disliking me, until the day I submitted my resignation to the company president who rejected it. He asked me why I wanted to resign and I told him about my problem with my immediate supervisor. He then explained to me that he did a little “investigation” in the office and found out that my supervisor was saying bad things about me and did not like the fact that I had become “more popular” and “deeply appreciated by the staff” for helping them whenever they needed my assistance. I could not believe my ears. I tried my best to help everyone in the office in order to give our department a “good name” and make the staff know that they could always come to our office, if they needed help in any work-related matter. I thought this would make my boss happy but apparently, she became jealous and hated the fact that most people would come to me than to her. In the end, I decided to resign and leave the company just to avoid any conflict with her. Besides, it was hard to work with a supervisor who did not believe in your good intentions and qualities. 

  5. Female bosses are “more sympathetic” -This is one trait I love about female bosses. They tend to be “more sympathetic” to their staff and would even go out their way to help them resolve their issues. I had a female boss who had a “big heart” and who would do everything her power to help the staff, even if I meant going against the male bosses or directors in the company. Maybe this was due to her “maternal instincts” and her natural “kind” way of treating her staff. This was the reason why everyone in our office looked up to her as our “mother.” Until now, I remember all the good things she did in order to help me get a good position and higher salary in the company. She would always be the “best female boss” I ever had in my life. 

  6. Female bosses “sometimes” get moody – Perhaps some would people would say, female bosses get moody not only “sometimes” but “oftentimes.” And you cannot argue with anyone on this matter. Whether they get moody “sometimes” or “most of the time,” it is hard to be a boss especially if you are a female because your work does not end after office hours. There are lots of work waiting for you at home, after your long day at work. You have to prepare dinner for the family, take care of your husband and children, help the kids with their homework, etc. Then, after finishing your “household” duties, you will sit down, take out your laptop and do your “office work” at home and probably sleep at midnight. On top of this, there are so many “body and health issues” that a woman experiences regularly that completely affects her mood in the process. These things are enough to make you “tired” and “stressed out” and would eventually affect your mood in the office. Of course, you must leave all family matters at home and focus at work when you are in the office. But it is really harder to be a boss especially when you are a female because of so many family, career, health and personal issues you have to deal with on a regular basis. 

The bottom line is, it may be more “challenging” and “demanding” to work with a female boss but you can rest assured that you will learn more from them and become a better employee in the long run. 

Note: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of or its members.