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People take criticism worse from women

The results of a university study indicate that both men and women have more negative reactions when they receive criticism from a woman than from a man. This has implications for the future of workplace leadership in New York and across the country. It may mean that women in leadership positions will turn to less-than-optimal management strategies in order to be heard or that they may have less interest in leadership in the first place.

The study showed that criticism from women reduced job satisfaction among employees more than criticism from men. Additionally, employees were more than twice as turned off by a company if they received criticism from a woman there. In the companies that make up the S&P 500, women account for 45% of the employees, but they hold only 37% of middle management positions, 26% of senior management positions and 5% of CEO positions. This is despite the fact that women have started to score higher than men in leadership competency testing and have passed men in terms of educational attainment.

Discrimination in the workplace is usually studied at the point of hiring rather than with regard to promotion and other job opportunities. Promotion discrimination is more difficult to study, and the research that has been conducted does not indicate clearly that there is discrimination based on gender for upper management positions. Expectations of management styles based on gender, though, might be driving a discriminatory pattern in management positions at companies in New York.

People who believe that they have been harmed by discrimination in the workplace might want to consult with an attorney. An attorney who handles employment discrimination cases may help by deposing company officials or otherwise gathering evidence to build a case for trial. An attorney might be able to negotiate a monetary settlement or other relief to put the client in a better position. In some cases, it may be necessary to file a complaint to secure a positive outcome.

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