Boss Lady by Rocio Solaire Roca
Running a business is a dream come true and a major accomplishment. But just like everything else in life, being a business owner is not all peaches and cream. Especially if you are a woman.
After a very successful career on Wall Street, I decided to take the risk and open my own business. My vision for running my agency was clear. I wanted to be an influential leader, not a boss. I wanted to improve these people’s lives. I wanted to give them a trade, a career, not just a job. And although I knew I was trading off a set of nuances in exchange for a different set of new challenges, nothing prepared me for the sad reality of what I would have to face. Gender Discrimination.
The number of Women in the workforce continues to grow every year. Statistics show that 46.6% of the workforce is female in the United States. Women also increasingly outpace men in college graduation and enrollment rates. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, women accounted for nearly 60% of all college students by the end of the 2021-2022. With these numbers one would think that we should be headed more and more towards gender equality. But my own predicament proves that we still have a long road ahead.
We watch this gender bias in politics unfold daily. When a female politician is tough, the perception is that she must be experiencing PMS or she’s a byt**. But when a male throws a tantrum in front of congress, the same exact audience perceives him as powerful and sexy.
The (tantrum) Kavanaugh confirmation hearing pictured above
In my own experience as a business owner, so far I have been told things like “you talk to me like you’re my mother. You’re not my mother. Don’t talk to me that way”. I once sat down to review an employee on his lack of performance and he deflated the whole time, screaming and waving his hands at me to the point where he almost hit me in the face! And then he finished the review by telling me “I’m a real man and you don’t know how to talk to a real man”. Clearly, he was projecting his insecurities and bias. He proved that he is incapable of taking orders from a woman because he perceives women in positions of leadership as a threat to his masculinity. And there’s the clear distinction. No one in the history of the workforce was ever reprimanded by a male boss and thought to himself “he talks to me like I’m his kid”. No one stands up to a male boss and says “you don’t know how to talk to a real man and I’m a real man”. And proceeds to intimidate this man by waving his hands in his boss’ face. It doesn’t happen! And if it does, I have never witnessed it.
We are conditioned to receive orders from a man but when a woman is in command, the same exact order is perceived negatively. So why is it that we are programmed to this double standard? Why are we so prejudiced against female leaders And how can we correct this? Let’s explore the differences in the ways that men lead versus women.
Statistics show that female bosses are more empathetic and more lenient towards time off than men are. A female boss is more likely to understand your workplace issue, respond to a situation, and guide you accordingly.
Studies have proven that female bosses are not less effective, it’s our perception that’s biased. What we hear versus the facts:
Male boss vs Female boss perception
He’s showing concern-she’s too emotional
He’s so encouraging- she thinks she’s my mom
He is assertive- why is she screaming?
He doesn’t mix business with his personal life- She’s so nasty
He’s so good at taking charge
She’s so bossy
He’s not doing well today
She needs to get laid
Recent studies conclude that the workforce gender gap is still evident. Of the total global workforce women make up about 40%, holding only 24% of senior management roles.
Although things have changed for women in the workforce a lot in the last few years, there is still this negative stigma against female leaders. We still have a lot of work to do but I believe we are taking steps in the right direction. Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton are just some of the many women breaking glass ceilings. I remain hopeful.
Solaire Love ❤️