29 October 2010

A Woman's Success and Strong Supervision

When I think back on my own career in trades, I am reminded of my favourite boss that I had when I was only 20. I had been in the trades about 3 years at the time that I started to work for him. He would have been considered an ally to women because he had a standard that he held himself to and he didn't put up with any bull... on the job. He set the tone for how the organization worked.

As often happens, there were times when things didn't go as planned and this guy tolerated no nonsense. He called people out on issues taht were below standard. He treated people fairly. His treatment of people made an impression on me and became the gold seal standard for what to look for in a boss. I had the good fortune to know his family personally and he was the same way no matter where he was - a gentleman to the core. He was principled and didn't back down from what he believed was fair.

I have witnessed this again recently as a female company owner I know went on the job and saw one of her employees verbally abusing a co-worker who was not able to advocate for himself. There was no time for diplomacy. The abuser's actions were having and impact on the rest of the workers. She walked up to him and loudly proclaimed that he had fallen below the standard and he didn't like being caught. He threw down his tool and walked off the job. The other (male) workers thanked her afterwards for her support. They enjoyed having a boss that was on their side.

We all want to go to work and do a good days work for a good days pay and maybe have a bit of fun doing it. That might happen more often if there were strong leaders onsite that had strong sanctions against unacceptable behaviour. I've been fortunate to not only have experienced it myself but watched a woman doing it well also. Women make great tradeswomen and they also make wonderful supervisors - it's natural I think to have those in her care get along with one another. Way to go sista...

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