First I need to do some background checks. The LadyGang podcast. For those that don’t know The LadyGang is a super fun weekly podcast (Tuesdays are the new Fridays, girls) hosted by Becca Tobin of Glee fame and fash blogger extraordinaire, Jac Vanek the ultimate scene queen and owner of a rad clothing line and my lifespiration Keltie Knight, former Rockette and entertainment journo. Ladies, imagine Sunday brunch with your gal pals talking, laughing, drinking…that is this podcast. Every week they have different guests –mostly fierce females because…LADYgang….duh… the official description is “LadyGang” is a celebrity driven podcast from the minds and mouths of Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek, and Becca Tobin where no subject is off limits. Inspired by their bottomless mimosa brunches, each week, a celebrity guest joins the girls for a raw, honest, and hilarious look at what life is really like under the bright lights of Hollywood.
This weeks guests were the two Foster sisters who created the VH1 show Barely Famous, one of the questions they were asked was around their place as females bosses in Hollywood which is generally dominated by males in power.
This is what they said…
“Whats very hard for women is knowing how to be say what you want without feeling like you’re acting like a bitch. And I have fully accepted acting like a bitch if that’s how it comes across. I think you have to have confidence in your choices, it’s very easy to be talked out of things and I do believe that men will be condescending and by the way women are condescending too….
“I don’t need you more than you need me, I am willing to lose what I have, I’d rather do that than stand behind something I don’t believe in.”
If a man goes nuclear its fine but if I go nuclear it’s “is it that time of the month, she’s crazy! She’s difficult… but when a guy does it he’s just being a boss.”
“As women we learn to justify ourselves and I think as women as soon as you justify yourself you’re asking people to treat you like a child… don’t justify you living.”
As someone who has worked herself up from being a minion to being a boss, a female one at that, this is a subject that piques my interest. For various reasons but mainly because it is true and it is something I have experienced more than once whilst I have been management. You should also bear in mind that I work in a very female dominated company – the majority of my fellow store managers are female, the higher up you go the more penises you encounter. I cannot speak for my colleagues when I say I have encountered this, I guess you could call it sexism, but it is something that I have been subject to – especially by customers.
I have been spoken down to more times than I care to remember, I get I’m 5’1 and most people have to talk down to me because most people are taller, but being spoken down to because you are a woman, and a short one at that, is something that is a very real thing for me. Or at least it used to be.
Over the years, like the Foster sisters suggest, I have stopped trying to justify my existence and stopped trying to, almost apologise, for doing my job. If you do something wrong, I will tell you off. Not because I have my period, because I am the boss. I will tell that customer no, not be because I am hormonal but because I am the boss. I will step in and take over when someone is verbally abusing a member of my team, because I am the boss. Just because I have a vagina it doesn’t mean I am hormonal. It doesn’t make me a bitch. It means I’m doing what I am being paid to do. I am being the boss.
If I am being honest, being hobbit sized probably doesn’t help. I do not know what my fellow little ladies have found, but, certainly working in retail, I have found that men, not all men let me make clear, but rather a certain type of man, will try to use their height and general masculinity to try to intimidate me into doing what they want. They will become aggressive, swear, hit things, shout… all to try to make me cower in the corner saying yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir. Take what you want, do what you want just please don’t make poor, weak little me cry. Well I’m sorry dudes, all this does is two things 1. Piss me off more and make me less likely to go out my way to help you 2. Make me think you’re trying to make up for something else. You need to show your masculinity to the world in that kind of way? You’re insecure, bro.
If you google ‘Female Boss’ it makes my heart drop.
“Are female bosses really that awful?”
“Why men and women prefer male bosses?’
“Don’t work for a female boss”
Just a few of the headlines you’ll find when you google ‘female boss’.
Really? Like, really, really? Are we that bad? I don’t get it. The female bosses I have worked for, which has been a lot over the last decade, have not been bad. Some of them did leave me wondering how they actually got the job in the first place, but none of them have made my life hell. If anything it was those women that empowered me and taught me all I know. It was women that gave me the opportunity to progress and coached me into being the manager I am now. Of course I’m not perfect at my job, but I work at it.
I could sit here a list ways in which you could get ahead in the workplace, or lessons I have learnt being a female boss but there are enough articles on the web that can do that for you. All I will say is this… the Foster sisters hit the nail on the head
STOP JUSTIFYING YOURSELF.
Erase the word ‘just’ from your vocab. You’re not ‘just’ checking up on the progress on the report that’s due. You’re checking up on it. Cut the fluff. You’re doing your job. It’s business,it’s not personal; if anyone takes offence to that or calls you a bitch for that, screw’em. I mean, still be polite, manners are free, but don’t apologise for doing your job. Your employee isn’t going to be the one sat in a room with your boss explaining why that shipment didn’t come in on time, or that deadline was missed. You will be. So make sure no one puts you in that position. You’re in control.
Get it done.
Preferably in a fabulous pair of shoes.
Subscribe to the LadyGang podcast for a does of awesome every Tuesday on itunes or listen on Podcast one. You can also sign up to their mailing list at http://www.theladygang.com
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Follow Keltie on Instagram because she’ll love you forever @keltieknight