Posted by: austinbowery10 | January 20, 2013

Women and Leadership

Women have many challenges to overcome in leadership roles that are mainly dominated by their male peers. When I enrolled in this class, I was interested in learning about what hardships women face daily in the workforce and even at home. Instead of only focusing on women, I also want to explore the gender specific traits and roles that pertain to being an exceptional leader. There are many women who conform to the male leadership model, but what they don’t realize is that they are sacrificing their own sources of strength and personal power. Women offer many different perspectives and traits that can be effective in many different environments. However, they have been underestimated and brushed aside throughout history. Women have been robbed of many opportunities and have not been able to utilize their full potential as leaders. The first step is for women to raise awareness of their hinderances. In addition, women do not need to exclude men from the conversations. Men are perhaps more important then women in the debate of equal leadership roles for both sexes. Even if men have a negative opinion of women taking on greater leadership roles, it is important to note these issues and try and persuade them otherwise. In return, men need to encourage women to take a stand and to better themselves in every way. Together, men and women can make a joined effort to close the gap that has existed for centuries.


Responses

  1. I completely agree with this blog post. Women have had always been the underdogs when its come to men in the workforce, and sometimes even at home. It’s unfortunate when women conform to the male leadership model, because they have so much to offer, but sometime may hold back because they want to be accepted in the men’s leadership world. Women and men differ when it comes to their perspectives on things. Women tend to have a more nurturing and understanding perspective, while men tend to have a more straight to the point perspective, which is just in their nature. I believe some woman conform to men’s beliefs because they are stubborn and afraid of preaching their own beliefs. I agree that if men and woman can put any differences aside, they would both be able to be more successful in the workforce.

  2. I really liked how you drew in both sexes and acknowledged that cooperation and input is needed on both fronts in order to really get this equality thing moving. I’m really glad that there are a couple of guys in this class because I feel like your opinions and insight is going to be so valuable. Without it, we run the risk of having a conversation solely focused on the barriers women face and will not be able to move past that and into a discussion about solutions. I’m really anxious to hear your perspective as the semester goes on!

  3. I think it is interesting that this post focuses on traits specific to women, not that it is wrong or anything just that it is interesting. I think that our society depicts how certain personality traits are allowed to be expressed, and thereby dedicates traits that should be specifically female or male. I think that both males and females have the capacity to act in the exact same way and it is our culture that determines gender specific traits. That being said gender specific traits are a part of our culture and therefore must be dealt with. I agree with the author in that the discussion must include both men and women and must work to breakdown stereotype-based opinions of the opposite sex; furthermore, that both men and women need to breakdown stereotyped thinking in relation to their own gender. Women must change their men’s minds as well as their own, and likewise men must change their own minds as well as women’s.

  4. When you said that women often sacrifice their strengths in order to conform to the male leadership model, it started me thinking about how sometimes we ask men to sacrifice some of their traditional strengths (i.e. strength, drive, and ambition) in order to accomodate a more relational group. Although we have often talked about the fine line between productivity and being relational, I think that your ideas brought up an interesting point. Where do we draw the line between being productive and being personable? Do we ask people to not utilize their strengths to their full potential in order to create a balance between the two? This could potentially be an issue in some fields where there is more emphasis on productivity or relationship-building because when one is overemphasized, the other suffers.

  5. I really liked how you emphasized the importance of including men in making a change. I think that since women have come so far and made so many strides away from men, we often think that asking men for help will only push our progress farther back. Its interesting that women started out being so dependent on men that we are now so intent on being completely independent from them. I think for our society to ever completely accept women, in leadership as well as followership positions, women and men have to make it a point to compromise on an interdependent relationship. Once we reach this interdependence, I think men and women alike will find that everyone is much more productive.

  6. I agree that men should not be excluded out of the conversations about women’s rights in the workplace. Men are considered to be on top and in charge. If women would appeal to the men too on this issue there might be a way for them to help. Also, it is interesting to look at things from the other way around, where a man are at home with the children while the woman has a career. We often look down on this and think it to be just as odd for women to be the head of a company or a part of Congress. There needs to be equality on both ends, not just for the women.


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