By its nature, the beauty industry is a predominantly female one. That also means that many of the positions of power, from suppliers to salons are also held by women. Whilst this is great in the constant quest for equality, it is questionable how enviable these positions really are.
The Editor’s Letter in the November 2015 issue of Glamour magazine raises the interesting question of how female bosses are viewed. Whilst men who climb the career ladder are liked and congratulated, women tend to find the opposite. This may be from men who are intimidated by a woman in a position of power, or from other women who resent the high flyer.
The article questions whether friendships can be maintained once you become the boss. It looks at how women can be viewed as the ‘bitch’ purely because they have to make tough, and sometimes unpopular decisions.
In this industry, the majority of salon owners will be women. Many of those started as beauty therapists themselves and have worked their way up to a management position, taken over a salon, or opened their own. Many people, females included, view women as a softer and more empathetic sex.
Whilst this may be true, owners and managers still have to run businesses, and that means disciplining staff, enforcing targets and generally keeping on top of the work and the workforce. As a result of this, it becomes necessary to do away with the softer traits of a woman’s personality at times. They need to develop a tougher core in order to make the decisions that are best for their business.
As a boss, male or female, you will always come under criticism from your staff at one time or another. This means that you generally have to develop a thick skin, and again, this can make you seem hard.
However, this image of female bosses being the type to grind you beneath their stiletto heel is unfair. Many still treat their staff with unrivaled empathy and understanding, particularly as they have a better understanding of situations relating to motherhood, for example.
It is possible for a woman to be a nice boss as well as a good boss. We just have to shake off the perception that for a girl to run the show she has to become a man. Women have some fantastic and unique skills when it comes to running a business, instead of pulling each other down, the sisterhood should be supporting and celebrating these women and their achievements.