Bonnie Fuller on Double Standards in the Workplace
Noted editor Bonnie Fuller has launched Bonnie Fuller Media to meet the evolving needs of her longtime loyal following. Twice named Advertising Age's "Editor of the Year," she's been responsible for some of the magazine world's most well-recognized titles, including having served as Vice President and Chief Editorial Director of American Media (Star, Shape, Men's Fitness, Natural Health, and Fit Pregnancy) and Editor-in-Chief of US Weekly, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, YM, and FLARE magazines. Generally credited with inventing the “celebrity lens" school of journalism, she is a frequent contributor to a variety of media outlets including HuffingtonPost.com and Advertising Age and regularly participates on media industry panels.
Question: Are you a tough boss, or is there a double standard?
Fuller: I still think we’ve got a long way to go in the workplace, because well women have flooded the work market. Still when you look at the upper echelons of companies, there’s very few women in the higher ranks. And so I think that it would be fantastic and it should be happening that women are reaching into those ranks; and that it’s not just a token woman here and there. I mean so many women are graduating from universities – in fact more than men – that we . . . that this is something that should happen in the next generation, because there are so . . . going to be so many qualified women. In terms of being a boss, yes I do think that women are subject to a double . . . I don’t know if it’s a double standard, but a higher standard. And I think that they come under criticism for the kind of behavior that’s considered completely normal for male bosses. And it comes . . . Sometimes women can be the harshest critics, because I think sometimes women feel that a female boss should also be a mother and should play more of a mother role than a boss role. And when you’re not a mother, which you really can’t be as a boss – I mean there is . . . you can’t mother all the time as a boss – then I think that that somewhat . . . that tends . . . that can be disappointing for some women. But I think again that’s gonna change as more and more women come and move up the ranks and become bosses themselves, and see that as a boss you’re . . . you have a big obligation to your company to reach the goals that are set. And I always . . . I try and like explain this to younger staffers. Like if you’re . . . If their boss succeeds and does well, and does well for the company that they’re working for, it creates opportunities for employees. It makes them more in demand. It gives them opportunities for promotion. It gives them more opportunities to be rated and be offered even better jobs by other of their . . . by others in their fields. And so it really is in their best interest to you know . . . to work hard; to understand that work is work and you’re there to help reach whatever those goals and missions are, because it’s gonna come back and help you. Recorded On: 1/30/08
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