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This item is filed under these categories:
Fairness Equal Employment Conflict Diversity Favoritism Stereotyping

One of the managers from another department was telling me why he fired a female whom he recently hired. He said that since the department already had two females, he never should have hired a third one since women are more likely to bicker than men. He concluded by saying that he won't make that mistake again. I was dumbfounded. This guy has an MBA. Shouldn't he know better?

When you find a manager like him, use of the word "dumbfounded" is particularly appropriate. Certainly an individual with an MBA should not be operating on such a blatantly foolish conception about people, but so should anyone who has read a newspaper in the last 10 years.

With all the progress that has been made in bringing equity to the workplace, there are still many people out there who are firmly grasping their old stereotypes, biases, and prejudices. These archaic belief systems not only undermine motivation, productivity, commitment, and trust, they also expose the company to potential legal problems. After all, it sounds like this manager is intent on hiring a male for this position, regardless of the qualifications of any females who apply. That can spell real trouble.

If his employees have in fact been bickering, the real problem may be his managerial skills. After all, when there are interpersonal difficulties in a department, it makes far more sense for a manager to meet with the employees to review the situation and jointly establish a plan to correct it. Perhaps the manager missed this concept in his MBA program, too.

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