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Men are generally perceived to be better bosses than women, resulting in lesser women taking up senior positions in organisations. Comparing the articles “Why we don’t like women bosses (and why it matters)” and “Do Men Make Better Bosses Than Women (No, and Here’s Why)” written by Vivien Shiao (2016) and Lahle Wolfe (2017) respectively, both articles implies that the root problem lies in society’s outlook on gender stereotypes. Although both articles are published by reasonably credible media sources (The Balance and The Business Times), Wolfe’s article is more persuasive as she used credible evidence, took an objective stand and followed an organised structure for her arguments. Firstly, Wolfe referred to reliable evidence to back up her claims. She included statistics from a recent Gallup Poll (para. 3) where female managers outscored male managers in terms of their engagement level with employees.
Furthermore, she also included data interpretations from two different sources, with both interpreting the data in a “similar pro-female manager way” (para. 5). To further prove the accuracy of Gallup’s data, she quoted a study by Harvard Business Review (HBR), which is a magazine published by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harvard University, making it a credible media source. Moreover, the survey conducted by HBR involved a large and relevant sample size of 7,280 successful organisation leaders (para. 9), allowing for better precision of results. Using these evidence, it reflects a high level of thoroughness in Wolfe’s research. On the other hand, Shiao’s article lacks statistical data and evidence. The only statistical data was from a recent report by Randstad, a recruitment agency, showing that 76% of Singapore employees prefer male bosses. To support her claims, Shiao quoted Adaire Fox-Martin and Lim Chai Leng (para. 4).
Although they both hold senior management positions in their respective organisations, they cannot be viewed as credible sources as their statements were made based on personal recounts and opinions which are less reliable than statistical evidence. Taking all into consideration, Wolfe’s article is more persuasive due to the high credibility of the evidences used.Secondly, Wolfe adopted an objective stand, suggesting that her arguments are factual and free from personal feelings. She sets a neutral tone and addressed issues from a third person’s view, such as, “The survey concludes…” (para. 10), providing an unbiased statement. She wrote, “women may have been ranked more favourably than their male peers, but it is simply because they are women?” (para. 8), giving due consideration to other factors which may affect favourability. Furthermore, she did not make any baseless claims but instead, made references to statistical results and data.
Contrarily, Shiao took a more subjective stand and made personal assumptions in her article. She took on the first person’s view and used “I” and “we” throughout her article and incorporated her own feelings into her arguments. Shiao used loaded questions in her argument, such as, “Be honest: How many of you have attributed a female boss’s erratic moods to PMS?” (para. 3). This shows that she is trying to validate her own bias by influencing her readers to think a certain way. Furthermore, she included false dichotomy in her article, stating “Admit it, we all have a female boss that we tend to hate. Well, either that, or none of your superiors is a woman.” (para. 2), assuming that everyone shares her opinion and that anyone who has worked with a female superior have had an unpleasant experience, which may be untrue.
Due to the lack of objectivity in Shiao’s article, her reliability and persuasiveness are reduced.Lastly, Wolfe’s argument structure was well-organised and clear. Throughout her article, she followed a consistent structure and stated her arguments in the sequence of sub-heading, topic sentence, evidence, then followed by interpretations. She utilised open-ended questions as her sub-headings, such as, “Do Men Make Better Bosses Than Women?” and “What is Engagement?”. Besides providing readers with a brief idea of what will be discussed in that paragraph, it also helps to capture their attention and evoke curiosity, encouraging them to read on.
Wolfe was effective in providing analysis to explain and connect the evidences to her claims, allowing for easy comprehension. On the other hand, Shiao was inconsistent in maintaining a certain structure in her argument. Although she included “Foolish crabs” as a sub-heading for the last paragraph, she did not do so for the rest of the article. Without sub-headings, readers may find it difficult to focus. Additionally, Shiao did not show a clear link between her analysis and the evidence used. Therefore, due to higher consistency and a better argument structure, Wolfe’s article is more convincing.
In conclusion, although both authors made valid points in their arguments, Wolfe’s well-structured argument wins against Shiao’s due to her effective use of reliable evidence and the neutrality of her stand.
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