Women In Energy Gulf Research Report
 

Women In Energy Gulf Research Report

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Benchmarking survey results from top female executives in the energy industry regarding career outlook, barriers and solutions.

Benchmarking survey results from top female executives in the energy industry regarding career outlook, barriers and solutions.

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    Women In Energy Gulf Research Report Women In Energy Gulf Research Report Presentation Transcript

    • 2009 Women’s Global Leadership Conference
      in Energy and Technology
      Special report:Women in energy
    • Survey Overview
      Online survey conducted of female executives in upstream/downstream energy
      62 responses used to produce this report
      Data is intended to provide directional insights, not to be representative of all female executives
    • About Gulf Research
      Joint Venture of Gulf Publishing and Gelb Consulting Group
      Since 2001, launches annual multi-client surveys on marketing effectiveness, brand equity, technology needs and HR issues in the oil and gas industry (upstream and downstream)
      Uses an opt-in database of 100,000 World Oil and Hydrocarbon Processing readers used exclusively for industry surveys
      Visit: www.gulfresearch.com
      Contact John McKeever, jmckeever@gelbconsulting.com
    • About The Respondents
    • Time in Industry
      How many years have you been employed in the oil and gas industry?
    • Company Profile
      For what type of company do you work?
    • Reports
      How many male direct or indirect reports do you have?
      How many female direct or indirect reports do you have?
    • Responsibilities
      Mid-Management
      Business Development
      Finance & Administration
      Vendor Management
      Geologist
      Decision Analyst
      Accounting Supervisor
      Transportation and Logistics
      Economist
      Public Affairs/External Communications
      Trade Control
      Strategic planning
      Engineering Staff
      Engineer
      IR/Communications
      Global Procurement
      Senior Management Consultant
      Finance
      Education
      Information Management
      Strategy
      Finance
      Technical expert
      Communications -Internal and External
      What is your current scope of responsibilities? Please select all that apply.
    • Women’s Outlook:
      State of the Industry
    • Earnings Outlook
      Thinking about the oil and gas industry, please rate:
      Company earnings outlook
    • Current Employment Outlook
      Thinking about the oil and gas industry, please rate:
      Current employment conditions
    • Employment Outlook 12 Months
      Thinking about the oil and gas industry, please rate:
      Employment conditions over next 12 months
    • Business 2009
      Thinking about the oil and gas industry, please rate:
      Current business conditions
    • Business Outlook
      Thinking about the oil and gas industry, please rate:
      Business conditions over next 12 months
    • Question:
      From your experience, do you think female employees have differing needs throughout their career trajectory than their male counterparts?
      If so, please elaborate on what these needs may be.
    • Some Are Satisfied
      No differing needs (E&C Firm)
      Needs are the same (Oil & Gas Company)
      It OK to me, no comments (Oil & Gas Company)
      No (Oilfield Service company, Oil and Gas)
      I do not believe there is a difference. (Oil & Gas Company)
      No, I do not feel that we have differing needs. I feel every employee has different needs, regardless of whether they are male or female. (Oil & Gas Company)
    • Societal Demands
      “Men may have some of the same needs as women, it completely depends on the individual situation. However, it is more common in our society for women to maintain the bulk of child care responsibility in addition to work responsibilities.”
      “I think many women with the drive and motivation to succeed at work, also want to be successful in their personal lives (good wife, good parent, good friend). The societal ideas of what defines a good wife and mom vs. husband and father generally require more time. Successful women set high standards for themselves in all these areas and then struggle with the balance internally when they aren't perfect on all fronts. Many men in upper management in the industry still have the stay at home support wife, so they don't understand the balance women are struggling with. I can't tell you how many times I have heard male senior management say, you can't be great in all areas, so you have to choose or something along the lines of how moving isn't a big deal for families and their wives have moved many times for them. The dual career doesn't register with these individuals. I think women need more help finding the work-life balance.”
    • Flexibility
      “Yes. They need a more flexible schedule. Working environment options.”
      “More flexibility and support around family responsibilities.”
      “Yes - more driving by family needs (time off to take care of kids or parents).”
      “There is a greater need for female employees to be available for family emergencies.”
    • Flexibility Important for Families
      “Any employee (female or male) who carries the bulk of family responsibilities at home may have the need at times for flexible scheduling/time off/certain travel constraints.”
    • Age Concerns
      “I don't think gender separates needs as much as age. I think younger professionals in general have different needs than their older, more experienced counterparts. I think age is a bigger factor than gender - especially in the oil and gas industry.”
    • Career Continuation
      • “Since females have the children and do more of the child rearing, they often have a period mid-career, where they may want more flexibility and less hours, but would like to get back on the career track when this period is gone, without having suffered. Men rarely need this.”
      • “The ability to pause and then get back on the technical tract still needs some work and flexibility on both employee and employer side. Professionally, the oil patch is still a good old boys network, although getting better. If we could just keep women in the business long enough to get the numbers up and stay up, it would help.”
    • Opportunity
      “Female looking for more diverse working experiences.”
      “Yes, they must manage family/work balance and need careers that allow this…Additionally, I see that female employees need more time for innovation/creativity outlets which may not always be available in their assignments. I believe that female employees strength is in their more out of the box thinking and allowing time for this is beneficial for many companies.”
    • Family Conflicts with Career
      “Yes, most women working in this region focus on their husband's career path and their children's needs before putting their career goals first.”
      “I think female employees tend to change their needs more often due to changes in family situations, so I think the career path changes considerably as they get married, have children, etc. I also think a female employee with a primary career has more difficulty with foreign assignments than a male employee in the same position.”
      “Yes, I think that women have different stages in their career with different needs and career desires more so than men. During the family rearing period, women need more flexibility without jeopardizing their career paths.”
    • Mentors Recommended
      “Because of the low ratio of women to men within the oil and gas industry, it is important for women to have positive mentoring experiences with senior leaders (male or female) in the company.”
      “Yes, especially in the O&G industry. Due to the male dominated environment, female employees would benefit from strong male mentorship that can help them break through some of the barriers that exist.”
      “I believe that females do not always give themselves credit for their own capabilities and need to be coached more to get there.”
    • Question:
      Is there a way for your role to be performed differently in order to fulfill any changing needs? If so, how specifically?
      Please provide concrete examples.
    • Remote Office
      “As a manager, I have less flexibility in my schedule than the technical workers in my group. Improvements in teleconferencing, videoconferencing in order to work from home or remote locations would give my more flexibility.”
      “If I could get faster internet at home and a powerful enough machine, I could do some work from home when kids are sick and someone has to stay home, but the data sets that I work with now are too big and security risks are too high to do that.”
      “With the technology that is available, my employer would flex around time in the office and work time at home if needed. We also use a lot of video and web conferences making travel needs less frequent. However, I think it is important for me to maintain visibility in the office as well as globally within my company.”
    • Work Hours
      “More flexibility. Less than 40 hour weeks, for less pay, but without loss of seniority and without being looked down on. I could probably still do the same amount of work with less stress in less hours.”
      “I could feasibly work from home part time - perhaps 1 or 2 days a week, or work several half days from home. It would require a better computing setup at home, a better company intranet and phone forwarding, but it would be feasible.”
      “I work part time to help balance the needs of my family against that of my career. Challenging to do so, but it does help. Telecommuting as an official accepted option would also be another way to help fulfill the challenges.”
    • Efficiencies
      “Specifically, we are looking at ways to centralize and standardize in order to be more efficient.”
      “Much more project management in order to make the best use of other employees within the company. Our department runs very lean.”
      “More guidance, instruction, and training could be provided for my role to help me develop skills and advance faster, rather than having to learn on-the-job by trial and error or time consuming research. in particular, my supervisor and manager could help on this front.”
    • Have you ever experienced stereotyping as a woman in a male dominated culture?
      If so, how?
    • Youth
      “I think the combination of being a woman AND being young in the industry can be difficult at times. I think people may jump to an initial impression which probably changes after the meeting event, discussion, etc with me. I think people may form a perception of me initially and then change it based on our professional interaction.”
      “On occasion, as a young woman, I have commonly been mistaken for the admin. Also, people have a tendency to see a young woman as less professional or less able to lead on a large scale.”
    • Ambition
      “Yes, I spend 16+ years in a male dominated environment. At one point I was told that I should put my career mobility on hold while I had younger children at home because I was a single Mom at the time. I quickly moved into another department where I was able to move up the corporate ladder while I still had children at home. I moved up and around quite a bit, but did hit that glass ceiling where politics became the name of the game.”
      “At times, I was perceived as not being willing to defend my ideas or positions.”
      “Yes. I have been looked over for promotions as well as not even considered. I have been in situations where I was not taken seriously.”
    • Ambition (2)
      “Yes, it was assumed I wouldn't want to travel to Columbia because I was a woman, no one bothered to ask me.”
      “Yes, that we are not as career oriented as male's are.”
      “Assuming that I could not travel because I am a women with a child. Assuming that I wouldn't want to transfer to a location because the local culture is different than the US and limiting my career opportunities.”
      “That I wouldn't want an opportunity to go to a jobsite (or work full time) on a construction site because I was a woman. That I wouldn't want to get ‘dirty’ on a rig or work offshore. That I was ‘bitchy’ because I was assertive and spoke up in meetings when I disagreed or had an opinion.”
    • Emotion
      “Interpreting passion as emotion; misinterpreting being ‘firm but fair.’”
      “I have been called ‘too emotional’ on rare occasions when I have expressed any frustration or anger. perceived negatively when behave aggressively as men would. in current supervisory role, have been assigned a team where I must handle personnel problems, while my male counterpart is assigned to handle drilling operation issues.”
    • Respect
      “Sure - as a field engineer told ‘not to take a long shower because the rest of us want some hot water too....’”
      “Men are sometimes be patronizing Go to great lengths to explain the obvious directly to you. Avoid talking to you directly.”
      “Of course... I have actually been called a ‘Good Girl’ many, many times. It is about the feedback on a project or other female employees being jealous of outside appearances or judgments of someone else's responsibilities and capabilities. I tend to keep everything very professional and not get involved in personal relationships and communication.”
    • Mutual Respect
      “Yes, male opinions prevailing over women opinions. Decisions based on pure numbers and analysis versus considering human intuition.”
      “Many years ago, it was more. However, it still exists especially in field positions. Men typically do not feel women are capable of doing these jobs and generally do not want them in their teams. Men tend to feel their territory is sacred and putting a woman in the mix ‘ruins’ the dynamics. They feel they have to talk differently and be more guarded if a woman was part of their group.”
      “I do not feel like I am taken as seriously, especially being a young woman in the oil and gas industry. Others also assume they have nothing in common with me and therefore are not as interested in talking to me.”
    • Underestimated Competence
      “Every time I start a new project with a new group of people I always need to prove to others that I am capable of handling challenging and difficult situations. I also need to demonstrate my knowledge and experience.”
      “Yes, I think there is still a lot of bias in thinking that women/females are more fragile and cannot handle some of the more grueling oilfield work.”
      “Of course. I started out in trading and was "thrown bones" because I was female. That didn't last very long when they realized I was just as savvy as they were when it came to trading (with the help and encouragement of my male boss). It comes with the territory.”
    • Role
      “This has occurred when others automatically viewed me as the secretary/assistant of the group or the ‘note taker’ during a meeting, when, in most cases, I was the leader of the team.”
      “Being mistaken for the secretary; offered ‘soft’ roles because of assumptions based on gender; signed up for spa activities rather than being included in the golf round with my male colleagues.”
      “Yes. Many times. One example was a few years ago when I was in charge of having outside people come in for a technical meeting about a prospect. My boss just flippantly said, ‘make sure we have coffee’, so I looked him right in the face and asked him if he would have made the same comment to my male geologist colleagues. He said, ‘oops, no.’” There were also several times when I was worried for my own personal safety due to sexual harassment both in the office and on rigs. My company does not tolerate such actions any more.”
    • Getting Better?
      “I've found that stereotyping usually dissipates fairly quickly and is not a long-term concern.”
      “I think we all see it at the non-professional levels, but I have not seen it specifically at the professional level. I think there is always a challenge of balancing family life to work life, which can be more difficult for women.”
      “I do think that companies are making more allowances in their relocation packages/international assignments to better suit this need. This could be done more effectively throughout the oil/gas industry to allow for full career potential for working mothers.”
    • Female Competition
      “Yes, but it is actually the women in the drilling and completions communities and networks that perpetuate the stereotypes. For example, one activity they had planned at my company's global drilling and completions conference was a nail salon outing.”
      “Yes, but not just by the men. Many of the harshest stereotyping has come from other women.”
    • Question:
      What are the top 3 things you would advise companies in the energy and technology sectors to do in order to avoid gender-based stereotyping?
    • Frame of Reference
      “Treat women as you would treat your mother, sister & daughter - changes your perspective completely.”
      “Recognize women are in the work force and progressing through all levels of the organization and that they earned the right to be here, nothing was given to us. Don't promote women simply because they are women and you are trying to make your numbers look good, make sure they earned it otherwise it supports the assumption that a woman isn't qualified (even when many times she is) and builds barriers between sexes in the work place. I have and expect will continue to face people assuming I got the job because I am a woman, rather than because I was the most qualified. When meetings with food occur or it comes time to plan the holiday party, don't put only women in charge of planning, ordering, cutting the cake, cleaning up afterwards, unless they are in an administrative role or their is a team composed of men and women.”
    • Diversity
      “Have diversity in all groups, mix young and mature people in the same teams.”
      “Have a strong diversity awareness program and active diversity recruitment; including internships & co-ops.”
      “Advocate diversity.”
      “Include a balance of women and men in all groups and organizations, including at leadership levels and on taskforces.”
    • Open Communication
      “Open discussions - ask and listen.”
      “Training with open discussions around issues.”
      “Ensure that respect and collaboration are part of the company's core values.”
      “Evaluate the corporate culture to see where the company may be at risk.”
    • Equal Opportunity
      “Promote equal opportunity for all.”
      “Endorse an open-mind culture, one that promotes respect and understanding of the differences and qualities of each individual.”
      “Encourage more women to try for the stereotypical ‘this is a man's job’ roles (and vice versa).”
      “Rotate managing responsibilities. Get feedback from everyone involved. Don't ask a women to take minutes in meetings.”
    • Assignments
      “Don't assume a women won't work the tough jobs or make the tough calls. Don't put women only in support roles. Make more women project managers / drivers.”
      “Create positions that use the skills that are being brought to the industry by female employees.”
      “Design career training paths to have flexibility. Some field work is not appropriate during certain life seasons due to exposure to chemicals.”
      “Hire more women. Encourage women to take on the more challenging assignments that are key to future success. Add a benefit to the employment package: concierge and personal assistant services. This will benefit all employees, but it will help women the most.”
    • Women in Leadership
      “Accept different leadership styles; include more women in leadership positions; provide equal opportunity for stretch assignments to men and women.”
      “More women in upper management, more diversity.”
      “Promote qualified women to management!”
      “Need more women in the pipeline and increase the number in leadership roles.”
      “Hire more women; promote more women to senior positions.”
    • Hire on Merit
      “Hire according to qualifications, not to fill quotas.”
      “Evaluate all job selections based on skills and break paradigms that may have ingrained themselves in certain work settings.”
      “Stop polarizing the gender difference by shining a light on women's issues. Give us free and clear access to all job opportunities based on merit.”
    • Flexibility for Parents
      “Allow all people to have the same chances and choices. Allow dads to have paternity leave so families can share parenting responsibilities. Sometimes the dads are discriminated against because they want to spend time with their kids or need to take them to the doctor or go see the school play.”
      “In general (with both men and women) make sure your company has a flexible schedule (within reason of course) to accommodate Family (i.e. bring children to school/daycare etc.) Do not assume that there is a wife at home that takes care of that and that it is not necessarily the responsibility of the husband. His wife may work also and they work together to manage their families schedules.”
    • Mentoring
      “Develop mentoring programs that allow for learning from various managers to give employees insights into the strengths of diversity in the workplace.”
      “Utilize mentoring programs matching female executives with other female, high potentials in the organization.”
      “Provide strong mentors to coach women to assure their success & credibility.”
    • Don’t Assume Motives
      “Do not assume all women are the same. Each one is an individual and has her own personal agenda and dreams. Some are family oriented, some are not, and some combine. Let each have a chance and dialogue. Do NOT assume a choice.”
      “Don't have presumptions on what the women's goals are.”
      “Do not make assumptions of what job opportunities employees would consider based on their gender. Many women would consider overseas, field and offshore positions if given the opportunity.”
    • Don’t Assume Needs
      “Don't assume women need extra help, as opposed to men to excel in this industry.”
      “Don't single out females to coddle them through things. Females are just as capable as men. It creates resentment.”
      “Emphasize understanding and appreciate individual aspects/abilities, without lumping these into gender generalizations.”
    • Role Models
      “Make sure that all promoted candidates are qualified; unqualified candidates that are promoted can do more damage than the good of just increasing diversity numbers.”
      “Teach leaders about the VALUE that women bring to their companies; overtly place women in executive positions; include women in the decision-making, not just the soft stuff.”
    • Rewards
      “Try to tailor benefits towards what each individual values in their life.”
      “Realize importance and reward equally both men and women for their contributions as part of the team and make the system transparent.”
      “Take a closer look at Pay Grades and Salaries and make sure that women in the same position as men are not receiving lower pay.”
      “Make sure there is no discrepancy in pay. Make sure that the company allows for flexibility for both men and women equally. Do not show prejudice for having children at home. Make sure that incentives and promotions are blind to gender.”
    • Other Ideas
      “For some companies, it might be beneficial to allow candidates for new jobs to "test drive" for a short term so that a more fair decision is made when selecting a final candidate.”
      “Decrease activities or pre-meeting chatter about social topics that tend to be aligned with gender (ex. hunting, fishing, being a mother or father).”
      “Showcase female employees in advertising for technology and energy sectors more often.”
      “Allow for more innovation and vivacity as female employees have more of these tendencies.”
    • Question:
      Please describe a challenging situation in which you were the only female (or one of a few) amongst a group of male executives during a decision making process. How did you overcome these challenges? What specific techniques did you use?
    • Behaviors
      “I try to overcome the challenge of being small and excluded by: (1) adding a witty comment during times when the guys are joking around, (2) participating in conversations about football (3) speaking seriously and confidently when it is my turn to report (4) asking clarifying questions or providing information (5) sitting quietly but attentively, taking notes.”
      “Stay focused and be professional. Acting professional at all times is imperative. Make sure you have your facts and present them during the discussion. Don't let the men cut you off.”
    • Behaviors (2)
      “I don't shy away from these situations and share my thoughts, recommendations and expect to be listened to. I don't sink into my chair and suddenly become shy and unsure of my opinions simply because I am surrounded by men. Overall, I don't find high level meetings such as this to be challenging.”
      “I've been the only female most of my career. Mostly, to be effective, I listen a lot, and assess where each colleague is coming from. Then I look for ways to address their needs in the decision. I also try to stay conscious of my own needs and triggers, and try to avoid reacting to triggers when they inevitably arise. I try to avoid being directive as much as possible, and use other persuasion techniques as a start.”
    • Behaviors (3)
      “I am frequently in this situation. I am typically the only woman in meetings with executives or company management. I find that posture and body language are helpful.”
      “Looking my colleagues in the eye, speaking clearly and firmly. Knowing my facts and being able to use them to justify my opinions. Conveying self confidence in my ideas through my posture and body language - sitting up straight, leaning forward slightly onto the conference table, not playing with my hair, etc.”
    • Contribute
      “An expectation in our company is that you speak up and contribute (whether you have a strong opinion or not). As the lone female among an all male leadership team, I can barely get a word in edgewise let alone 'contribute'. I tried every trick in the book and finally had to stand up to get noticed. It feels ridiculous, but gets the job done.”
      “Always speak up when you have an opinion or suggestion. Speak when you have something valuable to add and don't waste everyone’s time with things that have no bearing on the subject at hand. Always question something that doesn't seem right to you. Trust your instincts.”
    • Support
      “My management team is primarily male dominated. Our manager comes from a culture where women opinion is important so I look for his support when possible to help me support my points.”
      “I find it useful to listen carefully, read body language, ask probing questions, encourage quiet people to voice their opinions, and look at the data. I summarized the major points and strive for consensus.”
    • Facts
      “I am generally the only woman in many meetings and often have a differing opinion [because I am not an engineer]. I am always prepared with data and I give my view backed by the data I have collected. It's hard to beat preparation and data.”
      “When male counterparts balked at a recommendation I made early in my career, I methodically outlined the reasons for the recommendation, which ultimately was accepted (grudgingly!). When my boss, who was absent, heard about the meeting, the worst-behaving male colleague in the meeting was told to apologize to me.”
      “I stick to the facts and explain my position with backup in a logical manner and don't let things get personal. I try to find parts of others arguments that support my case so I'm not presenting it in a confrontational manner. Men don't want to let a woman win so you need to make them feel their ideas were part of it.”
    • Question:
      Please share an example of when you had a challenging situation with direct reports from a male-oriented culture.
      What specific things did you do to get the most out of your team member?
    • Challenge
      “Show them I can work as hard as they can so they feel they need to keep up. Keep them challenged.”
      “My first intern deciding when he would show up for work... He was let go eventually but I gave him challenging assignments that required that he use the tools that only I had available in my workspace.”
    • Set Clear Expectations
      “I think it is important to remain focused, keep emotions in check and be firm. I also think it is important to be fair and supportive. I find that when you are a good supportive manager, it's easier to have the hard conversations because the employee respects you. All of this generally works with staff employees and those with good attitudes. I have had difficult hourly employees, one who culturally believed women should be at home, barefoot and pregnant. He was challenging. I set my expectations for how he should be performing and remained firm.”
      “Stood my ground based on principles fairly applied to all. Made expectations clear and made the reasoning clear.”
    • Communicate
      “Listen and try to understand where he is coming from.”
      “I can't think of specific suggestions, but in situations which have been better than others, I think that I was calmer in my demeanor, tried to provide a rationale behind requests or instructions to my team members, made sure that I was clear about my expectations.”
      “I had the team set clear expectations about how we would work together, and I also set clear consequences for behaviors outside the agreed expectations.”
    • Outline Consequences
      “I had the team set clear expectations about how we would work together, and I also set clear consequences for behaviors outside the agreed expectations.”
      “I've had a situation where a male direct report made it known that he deserved my job, and could do it better than I. I requested a 1:1 meeting with the direct report, and opened the discussion with observations of his strengths and weaknesses, as it related to his current position. I then related how I, in my current positions, would be able to help him address his weaknesses and better prepare to take on a larger role in the organization. What came out was that he had never worked for a female before, worked for someone younger than himself before, and I was both. We discussed how this affected him, and what we could do together to address his concerns. We ended with my message to him that, in future, if he has a problem, he is to address it with me 1:1 in private, and I will respectfully do the same with him. The negative actions diminished, though they did not end completely.”
    • Question:
      Please provide an example of a supervisor who was able to bring out the best in you. What did he or she do that made you feel empowered and respected? How does this contrast between male and female supervisors?
    • Trust
      “This supervisor was one that entrusted me with a huge responsibility…he giving me this challenge with the confidence I will do it right, gave me a bust of self-esteem and a platform to show my skills. I felt empowered and in turn it brought out the best in me.”
      “The best supervisors are those who ask you for your opinion and trust you. Giving you ownership of a project or initiative challenges you to solve problems and think creatively.”
      “All of my mentors and supervisors have been male. I have had many good ones due to them treating me no differently than the males. The trusted and respected me and empowered me.”
    • Respect
      “I have never worked for a woman. A recent manager was new to the organization and at the beginning I was his go-to person for understanding the business. Through that, he recognized I had a good handle on my part and the big picture. Once he was through his learning curve, remained someone he could bounce thoughts and ideas of off and he in turn did the same for me. It was good to work with someone who respected, valued, and sought out my opinion. Although I have never worked for a woman, I think these qualities are seen in women more then men as perhaps men think asking for a woman's help is a weakness.”
      “My current supervisor treats me as fellow engineer in this industry. He asks for my opinion, gives guidance when needed, gives me positive feedback as well as improvement opportunities. I have never had a female supervisor.”
    • Opportunity
      “Male supervisors have always encouraged me by asking me if there are other things I would like to learn within the company. They encourage me to take on new responsibilities in different areas to be well-rounded.”
      “Trusted me and gave me challenging tasks for me to respond to.”
      “I was given the opportunity to lead a project where I did not have the level of experience I thought was required for the project. My supervisor had more confidence in me at that time than I had in myself. I created a successful cross functional team and was promoted at the end of the project.”
    • Opportunity (2)
      “One supervisor whom I worked for offered me a really great promotion and insisted I could do it, even when I had my own doubts. That supervisor was always available to talk and to listen, offering advice but also allowing me to make a few mistakes along the way. I had that job for a couple of years, and even though I am no longer employed with that company we stay in touch. My respect for that relationship still endures.”
      “A female supervisor of mine handed me a project to lead. Her advice could be sought as needed, but my opinion was always requested first. Male supervisors tend to micromanage more.”
    • Support
      “He stood behind me at all times - even when good decisions had poor outcomes. I've never had a female supervisor.”
      “I had a supervisor who really stood up for me when he thought someone else was using me for their own devices. The situation was complicated. He listened to all parties and then stuck by me. I appreciated that. I have a female supervisor now. She is really into training and team building.”
      “They gave me challenging assignments, freedom to do it without micro management, and recognized the outcomes in a fair and balanced way.”
    • Communication
      “The best supervisors have always been the ones that were comfortable working with women and were willing to talk and listen.”
      “She provided constant encouragement and constructive feedback. The single thing that most made me feel empowered and respected was being trusted to do a good job.”
      “My better bosses have asked for my input and listened and considered it versus bosses who do what they want without the team's input. You feel you made a difference and even if they went in another direction, they explained why and got your buy-in. Women tend to be better listeners, but my better bosses have actually been men.”
    • Autonomy
      “The supervisor who brought out the best in me did two things: shared his vision for the ultimate outcome, which appealed to me; and he gave me significant autonomy to get the job done with permission to fail. "If you don't fail at something, you didn't learn. Beg forgiveness, don't ask permission. However, if you need to beg forgiveness, start begging early enough that I can do something about it to help." I've never forgotten his approach, and use it in my own leadership to this day.”
      “This supervisor let me run my own shop without micro-managing and respected and supported my decisions. This was a woman supervisor. I had some good male supervisors, but they did not make me feel as empowered or respected.”