We take a look at women managing men in the workplace with AccountAbility’s Associate Director Michelle Barton.
Meet Michelle Barton. Originally from England, Michelle decided to skip studying law in favour of a career in the recruitment industry based on earning potential. She also believed recruitment experience would open up doors in Australia – a place she visited many times in her teens.
Today, Michelle is AccountAbility’s Associate Director. She’s never looked back and neither has her career, especially since she progressed into a managerial role.
Being a female manager, Michelle doesn’t believe there should be a difference regarding whether a male or female manages other males or females in senior roles.
“A strong manager should have a balance between what is emotionally required, as well as strategically or operationally required,” says Michelle. “Every good manager should have the ability to approach different personalities and different skill sets effectively, and I don’t believe this should be determined by gender.”
While Michelle cannot comment on whether it’s easier for females today to manage men as compared to the past, she does feel that there’s a level playing field in the majority of workplaces and companies she deals with on a daily basis.
“I think each individual should be managed on that basis in order to achieve effective performance, particularly in a recruitment environment, as each individual will always have different motivators. It is tapping into these that I consider to be most important as a people manager.”
Michelle has personally never had any challenges in terms of managing females as opposed to males or vice versa. This is due to her ability to communicate a consistent message to her employees in terms of her personal views and those of the company.
“The most important thing is to have a consistent message in terms of what your personal values are as a manager and also as a company. I also truly believe that the best way to get respect in this business, and from employees that you manage, is to understand what that person considers to be success, and then beyond that, why they want to be successful. Obviously as people grow and develop within a business so do their motivators, and it is important as a successful manager to understand these as time goes on.”
Insightful advice, indeed.