The title is deliberate. Comparing men and women seems a new wave in the equality debates on all sorts of professional walks. The project management world, like any other, is not immune to that.
It seems senseless to me to categorize project managers as male or female. There are studies out there showing that projects managed by women are more successful. The point of this is elusive to me. I am also aware of the bias and prejudice still surrounding women in many cultures in respect of their abilities and skills. As Binna Kandola said during an webinar I attended on diversity and inclusion, “gender biases are perhaps the most difficult to overcome”. At the same time, we have to admit that thanks to generations of women before us we have come a long way in dealing with roles attributions and the phenomenon known as the “likability conundrum.”
Coming back to the project managers profession, if you have the skills, the passion, the commitment, responsibilities, and the work ethic necessary to hold the position then you are a project manager.
By focusing on gender, we miss the point. We shall focus on talent, rather than gender, shall we?
What I learned in numerous interactions is that when you face the likability conundrum, it is important to remember that it says quite a lot about the other person. Do not hold it against them, they might be utterly unaware. Teach them, with your passion and skills.
If you are interested to delve on the issue, PMI has done some research and studies in the field: https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/gender-project-managers-nasa-8988 ; https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/gender-project-management-workplace-dynamics-5609