Who said women cannot be leaders? For leadership, does gender really matter? Is there a difference between leadership style of women and men? If so, what are the unique characteristics of female leaders that are the most effective women, and are they unique only to women?
A study had been conducted in order to identify characteristics that distinguish women leaders from men when it comes to leadership. Female leaders were found to be more assertive and persuasive, having a stronger need to get things done and were open to take more risks than their male counterparts. Women leaders were also found to be more empathetic and flexible, and stronger in communication skills than the male leaders. This enabled them to sense the situations comparatively more accurately and take notes from all strata. Thus, they are able to bring others to their agree to a definite point of view, because they genuinely understand and care about where others belong. This makes the people they are leading feel more understood and valued.
To summarize, four specific statements regarding women’s leadership qualities we put down:
1. Women leaders demonstrate an inclusive, team-building leadership style of problem solving and decision making.
2. When feeling the sting of rejection, women leaders learn from adversity and carry on with an “I’ll show you” attitude.
3. Women leaders are more persuasive than their male counterparts.
4. Women leaders are more likely to ignore rules and take risks.
Examining the careers of top female executives across the globe- amongst which is also Meg Whitman, President and CEO of eBay – to learn what makes them so successful, it was discovered that the study conclusions are so far, so good, which furthermore include a quality to sell their visions; an attitude to reinvent the rules; the determination to turn challenges into opportunities; and a focus on being the best in a high tech business world. Besides all of this, women are in general more motivational, kind and empathetic when the situation demands them to be so. Therefore, the leadership techniques of women is not only unique, but also perhaps diametrically opposite with what men seem to do, demands the question- Do these qualities hold any virtue in the world market? Is this kind of leadership welcomed by the society, the public and private sector?
Domination and sternness towards rules, as an age old leadership style known to be used by men, is eventually becoming more and more unpopular. Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, the World YWCA Secretary General, says, ‘attitudes towards leadership are changing, and what women offer is essential.’ There’s a growing appreciation of these traits that female leaders use to lead that keep families together and to get volunteers to unite and bring a much needed change for betterment in the society. These newly admired leadership secrets which nurture and do good for others are not only sought after today, but also are truly needed to bring a positive difference in the world. A feminine way of leading includes helping the world to understand and be principled about those values that really matter. After all, ‘the hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world!’
Dr. Aafreen Kotadiya