I’ve got a manager who is a woman, who I suspect subconsciously favors men. She is less communicative with the women than with the men, more respectful towards the men, and excludes the women from the discussions (both social and work-related). I have observed her even in social situations that she herself has organized, with her own friends, and she really inconveniences herself to turn around and face her one male-friend in the group instead of her many female friends, who are right in front of her. In doing so, she slowly excludes from the conversation all of the women and makes everyone watch her engaging in a discussion with her male-friend. And this is just an example -- I'm making this judgment based on 1.5+ years of observations.
I am happy to write this off as bizarre, but ultimately harmless behavior, except this gets troublesome to have to deal with as her direct report.
As I mentioned, she is considerably less communicative with me about work stuff, certainly less willing to be social with me than the men who are direct reports. I try to not get this way, but l get really anxious and nervous around her when the men in the team are around. I’m more tense and guarded, as oppose to my usual easy manner. While I don’t let this affect my work or my work-related communication, she’s sensitive to emotions and picks up on my nervous behavior. She is even less communicative with me if she senses that something is bothering me. I don’t want to end up looking like the rude one, or the one who is unwilling to have pleasant communication with my manager (who I otherwise like and admire very much) because of this.
Is there any way to maybe gently communicate my feelings to her? Or any strategies to deal with this privately that anyone can think of? I'm really averse to conflict, so any suggestions that align with the latter are more my speed.