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Are women better managers? The debate heats up.

    A debate once again is raging over whether women are better managers than men. It was sparked by an interview in The New York Times with Carol Smith, senior vice president and chief brand officer for the Elle Group, a media company. Smith said "Hands down women are better."

    The Business of Management Blog calls Smith's conclusion "dumb and sexist." Blogger John Hollon declares that its much easier to rank male bosses on a good-to-bad scale because they seem to fall into such a ranking fairly easily.

    "That’s not the case with the women I’ve reported to," Hollon writes. "Although I had a great personal and professional connection with every one of them, their strengths and weaknesses always seemed to be very polarized. Or to put it another way, the things my female bosses were good at they were REALLY good at, while they things they weren’t so good at could drive you to despair. Each man or woman I have worked for has been good and bad at lots of different things, and it is silly (and sexist) to make a case for the managerial prowess of one gender over the other."

       Hollon concludes:  You simply can’t make a blanket judgment about the quality of managers by their gender.

      I agree with Hollon. I've had male and female bosses over the years. The worst boss I've ever had was a male and the best boss I've ever had was a male. But one thing I have noticed is that male bosses tend to take the time to mentor others. I'm not sure whether this is because the women have much more on their plates or there are other factors involved. Of course, this is a conclusion based on my limited personal experience.

     What are your thoughts? Do women make better managers? Do men make better mentors?

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