This morning I was on a segment for the Today Show (I was literally asked to do it last night), that circled around the challenges of working for women vs. men and my choice to get out of a full-time role and become a consultant (and start prettyconnected.com). The segment was derived from a recent study that women are not nurturing towards other women in the workforce and “men exceeded women in receiving job-related support from female supervisors”. Also that more than twice as many people would rather work for a man over a women.
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Fostering a career in the beauty/fashion industry has made me no stranger to female bosses. And it is disappointing to see segments of this nature and hear stories of nightmare women bosses and toxic working environments; what’s worse is the reality of the situation. Early in my career, I left a job I was excellent at and loved at one of the top makeup companies in the country because I was at my breaking point over the woman I worked for. My worth was negated until the moment I resigned, then suddenly there’s a budget for (and I was deserving of) a promotion which was offered directly to me from the CEO (a male). I still left and went on to work for a skincare company, where I was fortunate enough to have the world’s greatest female boss, Emily (she’s recently founded the new men’s skincare brand, Ursa Major). She pushed me to work hard but motivated and supported my decisions. She was never abrasive or competitive and offered very constructive advice instead of criticism that made me very receptive instead of feeling defensive. The contrast in those experiences has molded my managerial style and reflect on the type of boss I want to be (and hope I am).
While some of what I said was left out of the segment, it was very much aligned with Career Expert, Mari Albher statements about needing to groom better leaders and mentors, and if your boss is standing in your way, figure out if you can work around your boss or if you need to move on. There’s nothing worse then spending everyday miserable at work, especially if it’s not furthering your career and there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel.
The other point Albher brought up that’s very important is to figure out if it’s really your boss that’s getting in your way or if you need to do a self assessment and ask yourself “am I advocating enough for myself –that’s something men really know how to do when they come up the pipeline”.