Traditionally, it was the biggest challenge to define whether female leadership could emerge and develop as an independent phenomenon. Since gender has always been distinguished as one of the significant attributes of leadership. But the need to adapt to the constantly changing world proved a significant turning point in a female social role and simultaneously in a female as a leader perceptions. Earlier women are hardly seen in a senior position within the organization to exercise their power and authority. And when they actually got a chance to do so, they had met every expectation as a leader.
Nowadays, women’s leadership gradually involving in entrepreneurship, healthcare, education, politics, engineering, administration at various levels. So it’s time for the world to recognize the importance of women in leadership and commit to placing even more women in various positions in the organization.
Gender leadership gap
- The traditional and concretely defined gender roles in society have influenced the research and findings on women’s leadership roles.
- So it becomes a great challenge for a woman to secure a senior position in the organization.
- In almost every field like in university, businesses, politics, laws, and religious institution male leaders outnumbered female leaders by a wide margin.
- It is not about that women are not capable of leading an organization or they lack qualification, rather there is something inherent in the system which is working against them.
- If they have reached a senior position in leadership then they have to fight for the acceptance and credibility as a leader.
- However, with the changing times and workforce trends, the gap is declining day by day. But it is still a bigger challenge.
- Leadership should not be gender-specific for the development of society and mankind.
Battle against perception
- The women leaders face many challenges as compared to male leaders due to the perception of society towards women.
- Earlier, girls were not allowed for education. Even today girls are not given a fair chance like boys for career growth.
- There is a big misconception that women have low strength compared to males. Physical strength may be low but mentally women are very strong. They can handle more stress as compared to men.
- Most people evaluate the same work done by men and women individually in two different aspects.
- For example, an aggressive male lead is applauded but in female cases, it is considered as an unnecessary dominance.
Care about women leadership
- The challenges in women’s leadership are persistent and vast but solvable.
- Equally presence of women in the workforce is good for society and the nation. We can take many steps to create significant changes in women’s leadership.
- As an individual, we can uproot misconception spread in society regarding the capability of women as a leader. We can create awareness through social campaigns.
- As an employer, we can create a safe working environment, equitable working culture with flexibility and fair expectation for both men and women.
- As a policymaker, we can create various norms and regulations to develop a transparent system that would promote women empowerment.
- The assessment of leadership effectiveness should be totally based on leadership style and output achieved rather than gender or any assumptions. This is how we can promote women as a leader.
Advantages of women leadership
Leadership skills are acquired and shown both by men and women however, there are certain clear advantages of women leadership, and male leaders need deliberate efforts to learn.
- Emotional Intelligence: Women are good at recognizing and evaluating emotional behavior of their own as well as of others. This helps them to enhance the interpersonal behavior of the employees as a leader. This characteristic comes to her naturally as compared to male leaders. Enhancing emotional behavior helps in creating a happy working culture in the workplace.
- Value work-life balance: Women are the best at fulfilling the dual responsibility of home and work. This creates a healthy culture in the workplace. Most men are very casual in fulfilling home responsibilities. It is easier for any employee to talk to women leaders with a personal request or a sensitive question.
- Mentally strong: Women are blessed with the strong mental capability to handle stresses. They are motivated by challenges and handle situations patiently. This helps in dealing with tough situations that arise at the workplace.
- Good at multitasking: Though it is better to avoid multitasking but during a critical time where you have to deal with many variables then multitasking will play a key role. Women have the ability to make decisions and quickly respond to different tasks simultaneously. Women are natural multitaskers.
- Self-branding: We all know personal branding is valuable since it can open lots of career opportunities. Women are good at branding themselves by sharing their achievements and skills with others. Personal branding from a woman leader will also help in empowering other women as well.
- Promote collaboration: Women are better to work in a team. Women as a leader have an immense capacity to serve others and to be served by others. Women will naturally create a family-like and more corporative environment without compromising on professionalism at the workplace.
Women leadership is moreover a transformational leadership style. Women are more likely to lead through inspiration, motivation, emphasizing teamwork and authentic communication. Women as a leader always try to explore their employees in terms of attitude and social changes. They prepare the workforce to face sudden changes in the target, crisis or any kind of difficult situation.
Women in today’s leadership
- In the present century, it is not possible to function effectively without equal participation of women, both at home and in the workplace.
- Women empowerment will help to raise the momentum of societal transformation at home and in the workplace.
- Women are constantly evolving and creating new milestones across every sector of human activity in modern times.
- Many results have shown that companies are more profitable under women’s leadership.
- Today many women are praised for their leadership not just because they are successful in their field. The path they have chosen to reach where they are now is equally noteworthy.