For Kay Zanotti, CEO of skincare and wellness company Arbonne, leadership has always been one of her strengths. Prior to joining Arbonne in August of 2009, Kay was the Vice President of Procter & Gamble, where she spearheaded the Corporate Women's Health and Vitality platform. She was also the key commercial architect of Actonel, an osteoporosis drug, which she helped launch into the fastest growing brand in the company's track record. Most recently, this ambitious and bold entrepreneur served as the Senior Vice President of McDonald's, where she led marketing efforts to promote healthy lifestyle initiatives for women and families in the U.S. and Europe.
Why don't women support each other? A question that I often ask myself, and is not easily answered. I keep reading articles about why women should support one another; and I'm sure many do, but more than likely, not enough. I have typically not had that experience, I wish I did more, because I enjoy the banter between women; I have a lot of female friends, and four sisters. I relish in supporting other women; I have mentored teen girls, and loved doing it; to the point where some of the teens I have mentored, to this day, still keep in touch with me. It makes me feel really good, and this is why it is so vital to everyone concerned.
A few women bosses I have had in the past, seemed to have their own agenda. I had seen, of course, bullying. And other behaviors such as being set up to fail, and as in my previous article; being followed to the bathroom, constant monitoring, given unreasonable expectations, belittled, and treated as a subservient. One former boss even suggested I take former convicts in my car, to help me move boxes; was that for real? These behaviors have lasting effects on a person's psyche; not at all fun! Why do other women want you to feel inadequate and incapable? It makes me sad when I think about these things. It's really a win-win situation to support one another. Working as a team promotes healthy work relationships and is conducive to work being accomplished in the workplace.
I may come across as biased, but it seems to me in my experience that is is easier to work for a male. Just about every single male boss I have had, was upfront, approachable, and did not have a hidden agenda. I tend to think with a man, "what you see, is what you get" (but as with everything else, not 100% of the time; because I was told by someone close to me that her boss ( a man was "the devil"). However, I can honestly say, that I did have the pleasure of working for some wonderful female bosses who possessed the same qualities. But in considering the length of my career, not too many. When I think back, I only have fond memories of these women.
I enjoy it when friends, acquaintances, or one of my sister's tells me that she has a good woman boss; it am so happy to hear this. I say to myself that they are fortunate and to embrace it. Today's women have so many expectations on them, and working a full time job as a boss, can be intimidating I guess in several ways. They feel they have to work harder, longer, and have more to prove; they want to look good for their boss, and the company they work for. I have felt that as well.
As I feel as with bullying, employees who bully (in general; or in the workplace), must not feel very good about themselves. I feel secure enough in myself, (I genuinely like myself as a person), so I would not engage in these tactics. I have seen so much "nonsense", as I call it in my working career thus far. Game playing, you name it. It really makes me wonder what is going on? One former boss in particular, would weasel their way out of doing just about anything. They were paid enormously well, knew just how to manipulate people working them to somehow do their job, and make themselves look good in the process. They took pleasure in holding you back; not letting you ever get ahead. Gave their staff a hard time when it came to time off, but they would take a month off to travel overseas.
As I said before, there was an agenda. They were all about themselves. But the good news is, that after they left the company, all was discovered, along with many other infractions, and they would not be allowed to return to the company. I have said this before, and truly, truly, believe it, "what goes around, comes around", This person was very much disliked and consistently used big words to make everyone around them, seem as if they were stupid; and they were superior - please! What a way to go through life!.
When I had a 'not so nice' boss (in general), I actually felt like I didn't want to do my work, and well while I had to, didn't care because I wasn't being supported or heard. Which is not good for the company you work for, or for yourself especially if you are one who takes pride in their work. You often end up leaving your position (transferring to another department), getting another job, etc...what a hassle. When I've had bosses who actually listened, cared, and supported me I did better work and in general felt good about myself and the work I was doing. Makes sense, right? I wish more women would think about the way they act and treat others. It would be so much easier, and more pleasant. Working is hard in itself, and to go to work everyday, and not be listened to or supported really stinks. So, after all is said and done, it really is better to be kind, understanding, and actually listen to your co-workers. So much good and so much more can come of it. I know when I was in charge of being the boss of other women, I always paid attention, cared for them, and was understanding and never set them up for failure. I hope again in the future, I do have a women boss, and I hope she will show me the same respect as I would show her.