Women in Management

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2007
Women in Management
Sat, 10-13-2012 - 10:08am

Do any of you find women in management particulary difficult to work with?  My function is to analyze procedures/operations and make recommendations when controls aren't quite right.  This could be anything from reconciling accounts, establishing an approval process or even documenting procedures in place.

Over the course of my career its seem like the women give me the most difficulty.  I try to be professional and polite and come prepared with my documentation but it seems like they dig their heels in and won't budge and even try to distract from the topic at hand.

If I invited others to the meeting and the issues are agreed upon when a report is issued these same women management types will then again disagree.

Since I am a department of one I'm feeling no one has my back.  My boss is supportive but he usually has me go back and deal with it.

I'm feeling more and more like Rodney Dangerfield - I Get No Respect.

Has anyone else encountered this and how do you handle it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sat, 10-13-2012 - 11:13am

I have seen both ends of the spectrum - excellent women managers because they do not have that silly male ego to cloud their action and judgment, but just as many terrible one, some similar to what you described, because they "fought" so hard to advance, they have become very sensitive and un-trusting of anyone.  Some also feel threatened by other women.

If I invited others to the meeting and the issues are agreed upon when a report is issued these same women management types will then again disagree.

This I don't get.  Shouldn't there be meeting minutes that document what was agreed upon?  I can see questioning the decision made IF there is a change in the information/circumstances.  For example, you plan on marketing XYZ product to an area of the country and suddenly it was hit by a tornedo, so perhpas you would delay the launch of that product.  But a decision should not be changed based on someone's change of mind.

Have you spoken to other people who have to deal with these women?  Their administrative assistants, usually have a lot of insiders' tips as to what makes them click.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2007
Mon, 10-15-2012 - 4:05pm

Thanks Demotespan,

Usually everyone I ask about these managers has some story (don't feel comfortable asking their admins - too close and too long of a relationship is most cases).  

Regarding the minutes, the organization does this for their formal committees but for my function the report would serve as the minutes.  I might make notes for myself but would not send these out.  

Unfortunately I'm starting to see that I really don't get any respect and in tough situations am discredited so I think it's time to start and stick to a job search. Frown

Avatar for lizmvr
Community Leader
Registered: 06-06-2001
Sun, 10-21-2012 - 8:36pm

"Over the course of my career its seem like the women give me the most difficulty." 

I'm not sure how long you've been in your current role and working with these particular women, but I do know that if you go into any job with preconceptions, like women are going to be difficult, it will often turn into a self fulfilling prophecy.  Instead of generalizations, what specific issues are you encountering and are they really involving all of the women?

"Since I am a department of one I'm feeling no one has my back.  My boss is supportive but he usually has me go back and deal with it."

Is your boss giving you feedback to help you decide how to "deal with it?"  If not, ask for that.  If your boss is supportive, what support are you getting?

Being in a department of one, you could also look at it as you being lucky that you're not in a department of lots of other difficult women :)


Clinical Research Associate


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Fri, 10-26-2012 - 8:27am

I have absolutely come up against women who don't want any control taken away from them, and so will fight tooth and nail to prove consistently they are right (even when they are not).  Thankfully I no longer work for one of these types of women, though I still work in the same department.  She thinks that since she's been in the department the longest, everything she's put into place (from years ago) does not need updating, but she also expects everyone to KNOW the procedures (they aren't published anywhere, so how would we know the procedures or that they even exist)?  That's the other kicker, never knowing there was a procedure in the first place, and then making a recommendation for one, and then she pulls one out of her a**.   I have a geat job otherwise, excellent benefits, nice co-workers, and rarely ever have to deal with her.  Sorry about your situation, though I wonder how you approach these women, do you work in a collaborative way, or in a "this needs to change, and this is how we need to do this now" kind of way?  I don't think anyone takes to change, but if they are part of the process, it might be easier?  Then again, there are people who feel that you are criticizing them (though it has nothing to do with them personally) and so they reject any proposal.  Good luck!

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2012
Thu, 11-01-2012 - 7:47pm

I can absolutely agree with you that they can be more difficult, I think it is likely the cause of fear. They may overcompensate in certain areas because they feel inferior to their male peers. Sad but true. Women feel they have to work harder, I believe this. And I also believe that they actually do work harder. Women are afraid to fail or be fired or that they'll be thrown under the bus if something goes wrong. It makes sense that they might over-manage. My suggestion in dealing with these kinds of women/managers is to be as accommodating as you are comfortable with. You shouldn't feel harassed or ignored. If you feel you're not being treated fairly or respected you can mention to your HR department head what your experiences have been (you'll have them all written down, of course). The workplace should be a mutually respectful environment where ideas are shared and work is done, if there are people losing sight of this, I think bringing it to management's attention isn't a bad thing, they might appreciate it. If you're uncomfortable being the voice of this, do it anonymously via the annual employee engagement survey. Use their names, cite specific issues that wouldn't identify you, if possible use a scenario where there were other witnesses to the managers unprofessional and disrespectful treatment of people.