Leadership: the catfight theory

I’ve had some really interesting weeks at work.
For more than three years I had been leading a small team (I’ve been leading teams for more than seven years, three years at my current workplace), starting with 6 people, then 3 people after my new boss had finished restructuring the department.
Whatever the reason, my team is a female-only team.
I find leading mixed teams easier, but I have learned a lot in the past three years and I’m grateful for all the learning opportunities my team gave me.

Well, my boss has now left the company which means I’m back to reporting directly to (male) management. After discovering that the entries on who’s leading whom in our internal database had been changed from me to another guy, I went to my manager and asked what was going on.

His answer was: “When women lead teams of women, or when women lead in general, there’s too much catfight going on, that’s why I want teams to be led by men.”

I was gobsmacked. I really couldn’t say more than “Uh-hu.” and then try to leave the room as quickly as I possibly could.

I have no problems with someone telling me that I am “the icon of incompetence” (as happened many years ago on the telephone), or that I am “interculturally illiterate” (as happened when someone from another country felt deeply misunderstood), or that my leadership skills need improving.

But I really struggle with the concept of being a not-so-good leader in general because of my gender.

Still don’t know how I will react to this or how I will deal with my manager next time I see him, but one thing I know: I will leave this workplace as soon as I can. I’ve put much time and effort into doing good work and I will continue to do so, but I’m not willing to pay the price of having a manager who obviously lives in another century.

1 Comment

Filed under Leadership, Meinung

One response to “Leadership: the catfight theory

  1. Pauline

    Excellent but sad blog. I hope you will find a better workplace soon. Maybe you should consider filing a complaint for discrimination? http://goo.gl/Ct7Rjt

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