Female bosses engender rage in both sexes

Melbourne: A new report has revealed that women who step outside a stereotypical female paradigm and reach top positions in an organisation can engender rage in both male and female staff members.

According to the report on Women in Leadership by the Federal Government of Australia, there are underlying biases that prevent women from making it to the top and that women are excluded from leadership on account of being women.

“Women who are seen to step outside a stereotypical female paradigm can engender rage in others, both male and female,” News.com.au quoted Dr Hannah Piterman, contributor to the report as saying.

According to Piterman, organisations are increasingly taking steps to resolve gender equity issues in their work practises, but find their initiatives being thwarted by unconscious bias and that there is an unspoken requirement in the workplace that female workers need to be “extraordinary” to succeed.

“There are many extraordinary women who continue to achieve extraordinary things.

“However, as long as being extraordinary remains the tacit prerequisite by both men and women for women’s entry into leadership, senior ranks will remain populated by men.

“They must prove that they are without needs or demands, and that they are unencumbered by family, in order to avoid being sidelined as less ambitious, as not having the prerequisite experience and of not wanting to commit.

“These messages are based on a belief system that meritocracy exists and that women who have not succeeded have only themselves to blame,” she stated.

Rachel Slade, a fellow contributor to the report, alleges that female bosses face a “double bind” because they are seen as too aggressive if they behave in an ambitious manner and too weak if they are communal and collaborative and that the corporate fabric of the organisation has been woven by men and unwritten rules have been framed by men.

Australian women still make up only 12.5 percent of directors in the ASX 200, 2.5 percent of chairs, 3 percent of CEOs and 8 percent of key executive managers positions.

The report has been launched by the Federal Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis in Melbourne.


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