"You're not funny": We asked 50 women what they'd say, anonymously, to their boss.

Mamamia's Confessions series asks women to share what they'd say to the people closest to them, if they could do so anonymously. What would you tell your partner? Your parents? Your manager? It could be a secret you've been holding onto for years, or something that's on your mind right now. Nothing is off-limits. 

This week, we asked 50 women the one thing they'd say to their boss anonymously. Here's what they told us.

Management style.

"You micromanaging me while we work from home says more about you and your work ethic than mine."

"Please stop calling me late Friday afternoon, briefing me with a long list of things to do right before the weekend. Please let me enjoy my weekend and brief me on Monday morning."

"You’re doing great but you can’t keep avoiding conflict."

"When you became my boss, I was super excited. But as the months have progressed, I’ve come to really not like my job anymore. You don’t back the team up when other departments try and put us down. You don’t actually understand half our roles and what we do, so how are you to provide support if you don’t try to understand? As someone who is trying to grow within their career, I get nothing from you. You roadblock ideas and you're not keen to get on board with new technologies. I’m uninspired and especially now while working from home, I don’t want to turn my laptop on to work. Please take a step back. Please speak to the CEO and tell him you’re not the right fit for the role. Do the right thing."

Watch: Mamamia employees confess the worst thing they've done at a work Christmas party. Post continues after video.

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"You are an incredible woman who is doing an amazing job. I know (being a school principal) you cop it from parents, teachers, the education department and students but you are doing so well."

"Stop being passive. Say what you think and don’t let dominant personalities in the team overrun and overrule you. You're their boss, not the other way around."

"You need to start caring for the patients instead of focusing on profits and ticking boxes."

"Step up. Make everyone accountable for their actions and you'll actually have everyone's respect and you'll keep your staff longer."


"I’m a professional who’s been doing my job very effectively for nine years, while you just arrived three weeks ago. You do not need to 'change everything' as you said on day two. I and the organisation have thrived without me needing to be on a Zoom with you twice a day, to take at least three phone calls a day, to fill in micro-timesheets, to constantly have Slack open, nor having to have numerous in-person meetings with colleagues. You’re leaving me with no time to do my actual job!"

"For a man you are really understanding and recognise when you have made a mistake. This is refreshing and I appreciate you."

"You need to think about the way you talk to me. I am not your child and I am not the source of your anger. The tone and attitude that you take with me when it is just the two of us and via email is not ok, especially when you are nice to me when others are around."

"Please start having difficult conversations with the people in our team who aren't pulling their weight. I know it's hard but by ignoring it, you're devaluing those of us who are working our guts out."

"If I spoke to you the same way you spoke to me, would you fire me?"

"Please call out toxic behaviour instead of turning a blind eye because they’re making you money."

Career and family.

"Please understand that 'oh well, you chose to have those kids' is not a response I need when I’m explaining why I look tired when you ask. You're a female in leadership, please don’t tear other women down because they chose a family and you didn’t."

"Having a career at an executive level and work-life balance can coexist. Putting my (growing) family first does not make me 'less than'."

Image: Supplied.


"I enjoy where I work and would like to try for a baby but my worries of missed opportunities overpower this - nobody works three days. I don’t like that it feels we can’t be open about these things."

"Your children do not belong in the workplace and I am not your babysitter!"

"We are a business run by women. 98 per cent of our workforce are women. And yet, we still don’t have paid prenatal leave. Why?"

"Why is it that I (a single female in my 30s with no kids) matter less than a) my male colleagues and b) those colleagues who have families/kids?"

"My family comes first."

Mental health.

"I’m not ok mentally."

"I don’t feel my bullying complaint was taken seriously."

"It’s been five years and you still don’t see or treat me as a person, just a commodity."

"You're the reason my mental health is so bad."

"Ask me how I am going first before you tell me all about you."

Respect in the workplace.

"Two years on, [after] two years of incredible personal growth and intensive therapy I would like to address the appropriateness of your feedback to me during my 2019 performance review. Specifically, when you said to me 'you have what my wife calls resting bitch face'. A time where my performance is supposed to be reviewed and assessed based on me kicking all my 2019 objectives out of the park, you chose to review the way I looked."

"Thank you. Endlessly thank you. You have always been a pillar of strength and wealth of knowledge without the fake kindness of many other bosses I’ve had."

"The boys' club environment shouldn’t exist in 2021. You favour men over women and we all feel it."

"Treat your female staff with the values you preach to the students in your school! Don’t tell me how to raise my child, when to put him in day care or that he needs socialisation when you know nothing about him or me."

"Please be more understanding and inclusive of your staff, especially when you make random decisions with no thought on how it will impact our workload. A bit of respect for the job I do and the commitment I have to your company would go a long way!"

"If only you could treat everyone equally and with respect like they respect you."

"You don’t know how to work or encourage women to stay in the industry, and that’s why they keep leaving your company because we feel invisible and undervalued under your leadership, even though all the men love you for being a great boss."


"Thank you for being so supportive, challenging me to do better and giving me opportunities to grow."

"Hospitality - just because I am young and female does not mean that I know nothing and am not capable. As a chef, it continually surprises me how older male chefs assume that I know nothing just because I am a girl, when in fact I have spent the last 10 years working my ass off."

"You pretend that our organisation does not discriminate against women, but it does."

Pay and promotions.

"Why didn’t I get the promotion when I meet the criteria and she doesn’t?"

"I'm not motivated by money; trying to buy me doesn't work."

"If I’m such a vital part of the company why is it I earn way less than any of the male staff?"

Image: Supplied.

"I am worth more."

"I deliberately ate items that were not on the ‘allowable’ list for my lunch that equalled the penalty rates you were not paying."

"Give us due credit please. You express your gratitude for the great work we do, however, we haven't had a pay increase in years and our bonuses are laughable. You know you've got a star performing team and you also know our pay is sh*t. We appreciate the job flexibility, but that only goes so far."

"Deliberately telling new employees that you like to keep everyone casual so they fear for their jobs did not win you favours."

"Seven years. Make me permanent!"


"Let's have really hot sex."


"You smell good."

Image: Supplied.

"Stop wearing red! You don't HAVE to wear something red EVERY DAY. It's just annoying."

"You’re not funny."

Do you have any confessions of your own to add? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature image: Supplied.

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