Even though women are not new to leadership, as in the case of Queen Elizabeth and Cleopatra, gender-based biases continue to cause issues. Society has, for long, looked at women as unable to take up major leadership roles. Traditionally, the position of a woman was under the care of a man. This means that no woman would take up significant roles in society. And if one tried, it wasn't very easy for even fellow women to support them. Luckily, things are changing today, with education and modern civilization giving them similar privileges are men. Several women group organizations, especially in the African and parts of Sub-Saharan Asia, are coming up to empower women, encouraging them to fight come out of the shells.
Today, there are more women in the political and entrepreneurial fields than ever. Other fields that were thought to be for men only, like administration, engineering, health, and science, among others, have also opened doors for women. They are focused on breaking the regional, national, and global glass ceiling that barred them from taking up significant roles.
With different women organizations continuing to grow, their evolution has been constant over the past few years. Activists fighting for women's rights and gender equality have not found a reason yet to down their tools, meaning there is us still chances they will reach new and more significant milestones across different fields of human existence. Women leaders such as Hillary Clinton, Indra, Nooyi, Oprah Winfrey, Theresa May, and Christine Lagarde, among others, have been a great inspiration to the whole world.
As the world opens up for women, the question of whether they are ready to take up the roles cannot go unanswered. Is the world prepared for them? And can women make good leaders? These are some of the questions we shall be answering in the episode.
Ask anyone what leadership is, and they will give you many different answers. Everyone has there a version of what leadership and what it should be. But have you ever asked yourself what leadership should not be?
There must be clear and distinctively hierarchical leadership in every organization. Whether small or big, an organization without proper leadership structures cannot survive, especially in the contemporary world. A country without a leader is anarchy, violence and destruction take over, and leaderless society and a company missing leadership are defined as a “muddle of men and machine.” These are only but few examples of the crucial role of leadership in the world.
A leader is a person who impacts, influences, and encourages a group of people to work towards achieving specific goals. The most critical hallmark here is the ability to influence. This means a leader is not someone who forces things to happen but encourages results. Leadership can be defined as the ability of a superior to influence a group, persuading them to follow a particular course.
Following this definition, we can conclude that anyone can be a leader. There is nowhere it states leadership is gender-specific. Since the world has exposed us all to the same opportunities, it should be easy to get anyone into a position they desire. It is all about cultivated or inherent quality in people that make them leaders or followers. It can be either a man or a woman. Note, however, that despite leadership skills being for everyone, there are certain fundamental differences in traits and qualities possessed by male and female leaders.
There should be no doubt that women make good leaders. Below are some proven characteristics in women leaders that demonstrate them wonderful in their positions.
- They use a transformational style. It has been established that women are more transformational than men. Due to their compassionate nature, they function as role models to those under them. It becomes easier for them to inspire the teams they lead by coaching them regularly. They care about personal development and encourage teamwork in achieving set goals.
- Task-focused. Even though women mind is a psychological web of many tied things, they never leave a task unfinished. Women leaders focus on finishing their tasks before the deadline, making them the best time managers.
- Enjoy working in a collegial atmosphere. Women, in their leadership positions, enjoy creating a balanced organization structure that gives all similar opportunities to work independently. This structure does not focus on the experience or seasoned or knowledgeable employees but the abilities of each individual.
- They work on cooperation and collaboration. It is a typical feminine character to work in collaboration. Women leaders always encourage members to work in collaboration with a team. The leader will, therefore, ensure each member understands their roles first, then the results will be better. Cooperation is key to achieving success, and women leaders make this their primary goal.
- Communication skills. In most cases, women leaders are more participatory and democratic in their roles than men. Unlike men who like command and control style, women are more subtle. Communication is essential to them; thus, they will speak out their minds at any given opportunity as long as it helps achieve their goals.
- They care about the self-brand. Women leaders may have different accomplishments, but they don’t brag about them much as their male counterparts do. Many are good at branding themselves and will not need a lot of words to explain who they are. They do this by letting others share the glory of their achievements.
The percentage of female employees working in a particular sector is referred to as the representation of women. A few decades ago, there were very few women in politics, businesses, education, science and technology, and many other sectors. But today, things are changing steadily as they get more representations. For instance, in several states across the globe, there are different political seats reserved for women candidates.
There is still work to be done. In the US, 50.8% of the total population is female. Almost 60% of undergraduate degrees, as well as master degrees, go to them. There is an account of 52% of US women in professional-level and middle management jobs. But when it comes to leadership positions, men take the lion’s share. More figures indicate women are still behind in leadership. However, even more, data show a rise in women's representation in many sectors.
Mar 30, 2020