According to a new study, men are more threatened by having a female boss than having a wife who makes more money than them. In the survey, almost three-quarters of women who earned more than their partners said the men didn’t mind. But more than half of the women who had been in charge of men at work said it had bothered their male underlings – at least some of them – some of the time.
It shows personal relationships are changing faster than professional ones, relationship expert Lyn Fletcher said. Fletcher said couples were learning to live with the contradiction that, in the business world, competitiveness was encouraged and even essential, but such behaviour at home would doom the relationship.
Fletcher said that female bosses had a hard time in the workplace because of stereotypes that to achieve, they had to be more hard-nosed and bossy than men. According to one study, researchers claim that if a woman is in a sexist environment she is far more likely to behave like an alpha female, and may even be more sexist than her male counterparts. “These women are concerned that if they are seen to be helping other women rise to the top or supporting other women in the workplace, they will be derided by the men at work, and will be seen as operating counter to the culture rather than acting like one of the boys,” according to their findings. Laura Gates, Executive Coach and Culture Change Partner of Learning As Leadership, toldThe Grindstone a common issue that women feel is:
“I have to be as tough as they are, or they won’t take me seriously. The underlying egosystem issue is “I’m afraid if I’m vulnerable and say what I really feel in a meeting they’ll think I’m weak and unprofessional and my chances for advancement will be shot.” Solution: Sorry to break the news, but we are women. We have intuitive hunches and get emotional about things. These are not “inferior” qualities. These are gifts that can actually help us to be more effective if used with integrity. I have seen women let their guard down and say what they really felt in a meeting and change the entire energy of the room, all thanks to their vulnerability. Caveat: 90% of my clients are men, and I remind them that having intuitive hunches and getting emotional about things isn’t just a feminine trait. By bringing forth these attributes, which are more typically assigned to the “feminine”, they can be better leaders.
Well, at least women making more money than men is being accepted in our personal relationships. Well, in some parts of the world. Earlier this week Grindstone writer Ruth Graham wrote about the Oscar curse for women phenomenon. Recent winners Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, and Hilary Swank have all seen their relationship implode post-Oscar. Garth Sunden came up with a scientific formula to predict the probability of a celebrity marriage breaking up and this week the paper published a follow-up in which the duo checked up on their predictions, and refined the formula.“Garth’s new analysis shows that it’s the wife’s fame that really matters,” Tierney writes. “While the husband’s NYT/ENQ ratio is mildly predictive, the effect is so much weaker than the wife’s that it’s not included in the new equation. … Besides the wife’s tabloid fame, the crucial ones are the spouses’ combined age (younger couples divorce sooner), the length of the courtship (quicker to wed, quicker to split), and the sex-symbol factor (defined formally as the number of Google hits showing the wife ‘in clothing designed to elicit libidinous intent’).”