Posted by: sarahsilke11 | February 20, 2013

The Titles and Roles of Women Leaders (initial post for 2/21)

The Titles and Roles of Women Leaders (initial post for 2/21)

In reading Eagly and Carli for today, the chapter mentioned how women leaders have so many roles to play and brought up the discussion of whether having multiple roles is beneficial and healthy or a chaos of downfalls. In thinking about what I wanted to write for my initial blog post I began to search Google for some inspiring articles and images, and I found this news cartoon which reminded me of the chapter. I connected specifically to this because as a resident assistant and leader within my hall, my residents sometimes don’t know how to address me either due to my multiple roles. In class, my group talked about how women, even professors, are called by so many different titles (Ms., Mrs., Mam, Professor, Doctor) due to all the different roles they have. We also discussed how some of these titles can make woman seem lower than a man, as a motherly figure, or have a potential for a more casual relationship and thus taken less seriously as a leader. Women get caught between these multiple intertwining roles and titles, where one minute they are a nurturing mom to their kid, a caring wife to their husband, and then a professional employee or boss. In being a resident assistant I do find it hard at times to balance all my multiple roles. I am not only a student and resident assistant, but Standards Chairwoman of my sorority as well; all while still trying to remain a fun-loving young adult. Being a resident assistant and standards forcing me to be a role model for many other students and sorority women, putting me under a lot of pressure to act in a specific leadership way. For example, when talking to my residents in a serious leadership manner, it can at times be hard to remove my friendship with them from the situation in order to lead them further and discipline them according to the university’s policies. As a female, I also sometimes feel that the males on my hall take advantage of this paying me compliments and making sweet remarks hoping to get away with more.

In class we also discussed how the women leaders we interviewed had a tendency to act a certain way to women subordinates and a different way to men subordinates. I agree that I model this same alteration in my leadership style by treating my girl residents with reassurance and concern, while my boy residents I treat more relaxed and authoritative. To the girls I am more nurturing and understanding, because I know what it is like to be a female college student and the pressures they are under. For example, I know it is important to show concern when dealing with roommate issues or hall drama because girls take things more personally and are more emotionally so the little issues can quickly turn into a big situation. To the boys, however, I am more relaxed while maintaining my authoritative standing until they disobey the rules and then I am harsh and firm. I find that they are less emotional and rarely have roommate issues, yet I have to continue to remind them that I am an authoritative figure, because they treat me like any other girl. In learning more about how people view women leaders and have different expectations for them depending on the situation through class, it has taught me so much about how my residents can view me as their leader and why some react and treat me different simply based on my gender.

In seeing the results of the research stating that multiple roles does actual benefit a woman’s life, I was surprised, yet I agree because in keeping busy and active one’s best efforts can be put forth. I believe that although people can get busy, caught up, and distracted with multiple roles and tasks, it keeps the brain functioning healthily, maintains a drive for success and achievement, and helps balance relationships. In my life, having these multiple roles does make me a stronger person and helps me balance and maintain a stronger drive to succeed and push forward in life. However, I have seen many people take on too much at once and crack under the pressure, making me wonderful how many roles is health? Has the study been done for the health and benefits of women taking 1-2 roles compared to 3-5? Are multiple roles taken by a female in the real world accepted by society or is it looked down upon?

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