Michelle Cohen Levy

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Study finds female bosses face uphill battle at work

| Oct 23, 2019 | Sexual Harassment |

Research indicates that workers in Florida and elsewhere may not take kindly to being criticized by a female boss. A study hired 2,700 workers to transcribe receipts for a hypothetical boss who was given either a male or female name. After completing the task, a percentage of those workers were given feedback from their hypothetical managers. Generally speaking, participants were less enthusiastic about their work after receiving criticism from a woman as opposed to receiving it from a man.

They were also less likely to want to continue working for a company if they had been criticized by a female manager. This was true whether the worker was a male or a female, and that could have implications for future generations of female leaders. In some cases, they may not want to become managers or leaders in their companies if their words impact others in a negative fashion.

The study found that the results were not caused by a lack of exposure to female leaders. Instead, researchers believe that people associate women with praise and positive feedback. When they hear criticism from a woman, it goes against their belief system. Companies are trying to deal with the issue by teaching workers to focus on the feedback itself as opposed to who delivered it.

Those who have lost a job, been demoted or faced other negative consequences at work may be victims of gender discrimination or harassment. An attorney may help a worker determine if an employer engaged in illegal conduct. This might be done by reviewing payroll records, hiring patterns or other employer data indicating that men and women were treated differently. If a claim is successful, workers may be entitled to compensation for lost wages or other losses caused by an employer’s unfair actions.