A Case Study on Female Managers breaking stereotypes

Meera of BusinessWorld provided an exhilarating Case Study yet again in this week's BusinessWorld Issue dated 06 July 2009.

To provide you a brief, this case is about a Male Manager's expectations about a bright, young, potent female employee (FM) wanting to take a break to concentrate on her family. The Male manager(MM) is into thinking that the FM would not “retain her drive to be a brilliant manager” if FM ceased to contribute to the organization in the way he believes she should(by not taking the break the FM wanted)! Then MM is confronted by another intelligent lady who brings about the change in MM's mindset with a honest, healthy & practical debate. The MM's mindset change is complete inspite of opposition from within the other parts of the organization to maintain the statusquo.

The case was an exhilarating read because of the following reasons:
  • The Case's topic is regarding breaking Stereotypes about Women at work, a subject dear to my heart. So my views could biased, but disclaimers apart...
  • The Case lucidly explains the mindset or the dilemmas of a male manager who manages a women (who want to take long breaks off work to cater the needs of her family).
  • The Case also lucidly captures the perspectives of women involved - their drive to contribute, their dilemmas about Work-Life Balance, experiences of women wanting to take breaks which are viewed negatively within the organizations, etc.
  • Above all the case beautifully captures, how a lady can bring about a positive difference in the thinking process of a male manager by
    • being straightforward, logical and practical to the problem at hand
    • consciously grounding her points of view in reality with practical examples
    • probing assumptions, rephrasing/clarifying them objectively & providing evidence to make her point
    • providing practical solutions to potential organizational expectations

  • This is a case study not just on common Gender Bias, but is also on bringing about organizational change through changing people's mindsets, another issue quite dear to my heart.
You can find the case in this Weeks' BusinessWorld (Issue 06 July 2009) or find a softcopy of the case attached here. Find the Analysis for this case study here and here.

Let me know on what you think about this case study by leaving a comment.

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