Posted by: fhernandez10 | January 15, 2014

Women and Leadership

When I signed up for this course, I expected to be the only man in the class and two is basically the same thing. Besides having Dr. Shollen as a professor again, I wanted to take this course to see if the the struggles females face is still an existing problem. Whenever I think of discrimination I think of race, sexual orientation and political background. Gender to me is not something that limits you in my eyes. The reason for this is that I’ve grown up with only a female caretaker who worked a full time job and still maintained the household. In school, I had female and male teachers. Interning for an animal shelter and working alongside veterinarians in their own private practices i worked with mainly women. Currently, I work with female coworkers and female managers. It was only when you get into detail that you begin to see how those positions may be considered “feminine roles.” So does that mean I can’t be a veterinarian or a teacher because I don’t possess qualities such as “nurture” or “compassion?” Would that stereotype me into a male role? Or are we overthinking the whole debate of gender in the workplace? I hope this course will broaden my view on how females do face challenges in certain roles and also learn of ways that men and women can work together to be successful in the workplace without trying to belittle each other.

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Responses

  1. To me I think that gender in the workforce is more scrutinized when women are in big business roles. I don’t think that it says anything about men being feminine in caretaker jobs in this age. In the past it was more of an issue but now, to me, it’s not. I mean I see male nurses, male teachers, male chefs, males in other jobs that are still masculine.

  2. I too have thought about whether or not we are overthinking this debate of gender in the workplace and at times I feel like we are overthinking it. In Chapter 2 of Kellerman and Rhode’s Women & Leadership: The State of Play and Strategies for Change, it was discussed “the more that these small differences (the differences between men and women) are discussed the more they are perpetuated”. In many cases, women are not seen as different or prohibited from becoming successful. In a sense I do feel that because there are so many articles, debates and discussions about the issue it does more harm than good by creating a greater divide between men and women. I am not saying that we should not address the issue of women in leadership because as I mentioned before there are some cases where women AND men are discriminated against in their occupations because of their gender and that’s not how it should be.I am a firm believer that gender should not be something that limits you but in reality it sometimes limits people from reaching their full potential. I too hope that this course broadens my horizons and answers more of my questions on this issue of women in leadership. I am also looking forward to hearing your thoughts throughout this semester, not to receive the “male” perspective but to hear it from you as an individual.

  3. First off, I think it’s great that you are a male who is taking this course! I think it is important to have both sexes present in a course like this because it opens our eyes up to the different perspectives that we may have. I think that many times, people often overlook the gender stereotyping that is present in our society. We grow up thinking that males should be police officers and firefighters and women should be teachers and nurses. I think these ideas stem from a 1950’s mindset where the women was caretaker and the man was the breadwinner. In some ways, I feel like we are sometimes still trapped in this mindset. It is not necessarily that we mean to be, it is just that it has become so engrained in our brains that we sometimes hold these views without even realizing it. I think that both men and women are victims of workplace discrimination. It is not just a female concern. For example, both of my parents work in the medical field and I know that they know nurses who are males and surgeons who are females. Typically, you view most nurses as being female and most doctors as being male. However, we see these roles reversed all the time and I think that’s great! Just because you are a male or a female doesn’t mean there are only a certain number of jobs that you are able to do. It is all about perspective. If we stop viewing gender in the traditional sense, we will be able to move past stereotypical views of gender in the workplace.


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