There are different solutions to navigating first steps with a manager who fits into the difficult leader position. One of the best pieces of advice my mentor gave me was, “give them a chance to change.” She shared a really great way to do this is by setting up a mirror in front of my manager to help them see their actions and reflectively describe the impacts of their actions.
For instance, I used to have a boss who always used the “the boys” and “guys” reference when referring to the team (I’m the only woman on his 6 person team). One day I responded with, “Hey [name], last time I checked, I was a female.” He was taken aback, apologized, and said, “I didn’t even think about that, I’m used to only being around men.” By informing him, his actions changed. Since then, everything has been great. It just took a moment to help bring some change to his behavior through some awareness.