Posted by: liseoverturf | January 10, 2018

Women Lead Differently, and That is OK

Hi Class! Excited to try out my first blog post –

Chapter 1 of Wilson mentioned that many women in powerful positions reported that they did not think being a women made their leadership style any different than that of men. I have a similar viewpoint, always viewing leadership as its own idea, independent of any gender. However, as the chapter went on to explain, statistically, women and men perform differently in leadership roles. I began to see Wilson’s point.

In general, women are better communicators, practicing listening and sharing thoughts and ideas more than men. This allows for a more collaborative environment than the authoritative style men lean towards. I related these concepts to the world of aviation. My goal is to become a commercial airline pilot, so I have spent ample time researching and speaking to pilots.

Men and women can be equally skilled in flying the aircraft. However, both studies and personal experiences show that women are often the favored Captains. This is because a Captain does more than fly the aircraft; they explain delays, work with the flight attendants to handle fussy passengers, and ensure everyone on board the aircraft it is  safe. Since women (as Wilson stated) have better communication skills, they are typically better at these aspects of being a Captain.

After noticing these similarities, I have started to agree that women, by nature, lead differently. It is important to recognize these differences not because they make us different, but because they can identify our strengths as leaders.

 

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Responses

  1. I think you have some really good points about how women and men lead differently. You did a good job explaining that just because women lead differently, does not mean that one way is “wrong” or the lesser leadership technique.

  2. Hi! I really like the points you made. I had a thought that might contribute: I wonder if the type of occupation a person works contributes to the masculinity/femininity of their leadership styles. For example, many of the women discussed in the chapter worked in masculine dominated fields, like banking or stock exchange. I wonder if this is different from occupations where there are different kinds of male to female ratios.

    • This is an interesting point that I’d like to add to! Traditionally “feminine” occupations seem to require (or at least encourage) what society deems to be feminine leadership characteristics. For instance, most people could agree that nurses are supposed to show compassion and gentleness; teachers are supposed to be patient and caring. When we examine female leaders, do we tend to examine them in traditionally female roles? If so, that could explain why we tend to see female leaders displaying “feminine” leadership qualities over “masculine”. If we examined a woman in a more traditionally “masculine” occupation, perhaps they would display harder, more typically male-associated leadership qualities?

  3. I also agree that you had really good points about the different leadership styles. Each gender is able to specialize with different things, so naturally, each gender leads differently. These differences are important because some situations may need a different type of leader. I especially like your emphasis that a different leadership approach does not mean wrong.


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