Home Forum MenTeach Forum A hidden feature of gender discrimination?

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      Hi. I want to hear what other men’s experiences may have been, when they started out working in preschool settings, regarding problems experienced with their colleagues and mentors (who in my case, have been all-female).

      I mention this because my mentor has described me as being ‘professionally unsuitable’ because she says her colleagues have found my presence and interpersonal communication style with colleagues to be ‘threatening’, ‘intimidating’, ‘feels like he is not listening’, ‘asks so many questions’ and ‘aggravating’. In all of past, varied work experience, I have never received such complaints and my testimonials and my vision of how I ran my own busineses was very much contrary that I emphasised a mangement style which my former staff have confirmed was none of the above.

      Note that I am a postgraduate level male student, aged 34 on an early years degree. These complaints were made, whilst I was a student, 2 days per week in 2 daycare nursery settings- my feedback in other early years settings did not report these criticisms. As for me, my background is EFL education and running my own school and businesses so I do have confidence in my interpersonal communication skills & have strong self esteem. I have a very expressive, communicative, open, informal, inquisitive personality & communication style.

      I feel like my mentor and majority of my colleagues in daycare nursery setting simply left me to my own devices and made no attempts to either involve me or include me in learning opportunities. I don’t feel like they excluded me as a man, but I do feel like their complaints perhaps are just based on lack of respect for the fact that as a man, I may communicate and attempt to create rapport and listen and take responsibility to learn in unconventional ways. I don’t know if it’s just my personality or my gender, which is what is making them perceive me in the way they have. The fact that none of them have ever actually given me feedback, even though I have actively asked for appraisal does annoy me since folks note that I am not a very defensive person either.

      Has anyone else experienced such issues and how to addrss them? In my case, my placement told my university that they did not want me to return and my university simply suspended me ( which I am now challenging).

      If it’s true that as a confident, assertive man, my comm. style doesn’t sit easily with younger, less academically educated and life experience female colleagues, then what steps can one take to address one’s ability to create a better impression? Any research, advice or books on these issues, please send me a www. link to here. Thanks.

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