Post # 1
So to preface this I’m a young (late 20’s but am told that I look younger) blonde woman in an almost completely male engineering field (manufacturing) and literally the only woman in my department. Sorry that it’s kind of long…
I just had my first real review that was overall favorable and there’s no potential for raises or promotions BUT I was told I can be to pushy with suppliers and sometimes too pushy with my opinions… But then in my previous job I was told that I needed to be more agressive because I was too polite (one said girly) and not being taken seriously… I just don’t get it. Especially when I get better results than other people in my position even though I constantly get conflicting information. One day I’ll be told to manage the whole project, the next day I’m only supposed to worry about my part, then the next day when I do that they don’t understand why I don’t know everything about everything… I think a big part of it is that my boss has never been a boss before.
Also, I feel like being a girl is causing issues he won’t acknowledge because he said he didn’t understand why I tell him that I’m treated differently than the other guys (they tell me not to get into the muck of things where he says they are happy to let him AND he’s never worked with a woman before). I really don’t want to be that girl that cries gender crap, but it’s like he’s saying it’s my fault I’m treated differently when I do everything I can to not get special treatment…
We left it with that he needs to give me deadlines and priorities in writing so I know what he expects and what my responsibilities are, but I just feel like it’s not enough.
SO does anyone know how to try to fix this? I am afraid if I go talk to my boss about it I’ll either A) start crying (happens with confrontation when I’m not mad for some reason) or B) blow it up into a bigger deal trying to explain and confuse it even more…
Post # 3
@lazybee123: This is/was me nearly 100% as well. I’m even in manufacturing engineering. I’ve had previous bosses tell me I’m too pushy, and ones tell me I need to stand up for things more. My current one tells me I’m very knowledgeable and professional, so I guess I’ve finally found the happy medium. I basically just make sure I’m 100% factual about my arguments, and completely leave the word “I” out of everything. Instead of “I think this is bad idea” I’ll say “In the past, this technique hasn’t proven’t successful.” Men respond so much better to facts from women, even if they don’t use fact-based reasoning themselves 🙂
I think you need to let it go, but work on it for your next review. Chock the bit about your priorities constantly changing to your boss’ lack of experience.
Post # 4
I really don’t think this is a male/female thing. And I say this because my college was 89% male and I am in a VERY male dominated field. You are comparing apples to oranges. Your old job said you were too polite. Your current job thinks you are rude. End of story.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Noxt time during your review you need to ask for concrete examples of when you are being too pushy and ask how they would have handled the situation. Sometimes in evaluations they have to find something to complain about and communication between men and women is going to be common topic. If they aren’t able to give exact exemples I call BS. If they are, try to change the behavior to the situation.
It’s too late to confront your boss about the review, especially if you are going to cry or blow up. Do not ever, ever, ever cry at work. Do not blow up either because the men will just think you’re on your period. It’s BS but that’s the problem being a profesional female working in a male dominated industry.
Post # 6
@lazybee123: That feedback sounds quite unprofessional to me. During a review examples should be used to back up all points, good and bad. As someone else said, you should def. ask for examples. Just approach it in a calm professional manner- say ‘I’ve been thinking about my review and I really want to progress in this role etc. I wasn’t aware that I was sometimes considered pushy and it would really help me to have some examples so I can be aware of the situations etc’.
I am a non-engineer working in an engineering company (are you an engineer or not?). Anyway, nothing gender-specific (although it is male orientated) but I do find engineers are a different breed in many cases. Pretty hard to comunicate with sometimes, so maybe your manager is just not good at explaining himself.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2014 - Kukahiko Estate
I am also a female engineer (mechanical). I would agree with some of the PPs, for contructive criticism to work you manager needs to give you some examples. Also, if you are in a different company, the culture can be very different where people perceive you as pushover in one and pushy in another.
I am a little confused on what exactly happenned here…in your review your boss suggested being less pushy with suppliers / etc. You also brought up you are being treated differently as a female, did you bring up a specific example?
His idea to be better at providing you with deadlines / priorities is good and should help you find your place I would think.
Post # 8
You need to ask for a more structured work model and maybe tone down how you deal with people. Male or female no one likes dealing with aggressive people.
Post # 9
@lazybee123: I completely understand your situation. I used to work at an engineering firm, and got the whole “you’re being too agressive” talk from my boss. Interestingly enough, she was also the one who was obsessed with my strong Type A Personality.
I think body language can convey a message in a much more effective way than words do sometimes. Be careful that you’re not talking to someone with your hands on your hips, or arms crossed. Face them, make eye contact, but don’t be afraid to smile. Use facts, and avoid using “I” statements too much, as another bee mentioned. There’s nothing wrong with being nice or friendly, but remember that you prove your worth and get respect by doing good work.
Post # 10
Well in a strange turn of events I got a raise! We were told there weren’t going to be any so it was a nice surprise!