I am talking about my experiences on practical in the school system in Australia. I failed this, after doing really well in all the academic part of the course. (The practice came at the end.) What really shocked me was the way Australian school children viewed their teachers in terms of gender. Specifically, I COULD NOT discipline them if I took an authoritative approach (although a male colleague of mine was able to take that approach with good effect). I had to take a soft and nurturing approach, instead (which did not jive with my personality, and which I was unable to do.) It was also clear to me that all the other female teachers were taking this motherly approach to get things done.
I view female authority differently, because I was brought up and educated within a colonial society (Rhodesia), which had a military model of discipline, and not a parenting model. So, I had a healthy respect for my female teachers from the word go. It seems that a softer, more parental based approach, does not incline the students to become respectful to any women who happen to be unlike their early childhood mothers.