Traditionally, society accepted the idea of women being confined within their houses, managing the chores and raising responsible adults. Fortunately, the scenario has transformed drastically where women’s career choices are relatively respected and catered to. But some blemishes need to be highlighted especially when it comes to women’s leadership roles.
Although the 21st century has accelerated its progress in terms of equal opportunities for men and women, the idea of a woman as a leader is often considered not more than a pipe dream.
One of the frequent answers to this catch is the nurturing, soft side of women that is highlighted and often considered out of place with the corporate sector. Be that as it may, many fail to understand that these nurturing faculties of women are the catalysts for building long-term business relationships and increasing the longevity of a company.
This compels every educated individual to question the administration of every company and whether their beliefs are congruent with the rest of the world.
With that said, let’s bring to light some of the most important leadership qualities that women possess and answer the question, why are women better leaders than men?
Why are women better leaders than men?
According to the article, ‘Future Is Female’ by Navya Naveli Nanda who is a co-founder of Nimaya & Project Naveli and Samyak Chakrabarty, a co-founder of Nimaya in The Indian Express, women are gifted with seemingly ‘weak’ traits such as empathy, compassion and sensitivity. These so-called ‘weak’ qualities are ‘actually strengths that leaders should equip themselves with to solve problems in today’s work world.’
According to one of the reports by the World Economic Forum, the 21st-century workplace is seeking skills such as emotional intelligence, critical thinking, storytelling and creative problem-solving. These skills, more often than not, find their largest abode in the minds of women.
So, if women are better leaders than men, then why is there a prevailing gender disparity in the business sector?
Why is female leadership not identified in the workplace?
Ask any female employee in a company and she’ll say, ‘We often find ourselves working overtime to prove our worth and work harder than men, to get recognised.’ Despite these attempts to be recognised and the constant belief that springs from their talent, women are not given equal leadership opportunities to men.
One of the most honest and blatant answers to this question is the perceptual gender discrimination that still looms in the remotest corners of the employers’ minds and blurs their judgement when it comes to choosing the best leaders for their companies.
Another prevailing reason that makes leadership roles difficult for women to achieve is the selection process of leaders. More often than not, leaders in the company are not selected based on potential, talent or competence. If that would’ve been the case, there would be a significant number of women leaders.
With that said, one is not trying to portray the superiority of female leadership and condescend male leaders. Instead, this is just an attempt to state the fact that with unbiased selection processes, women and men get equal opportunities to lead a company.
When an organisation chooses a leader based upon genuine meritocracy, the progress of the respective organisation is guaranteed. However, choosing leaders based upon preferences and preconceived notions can only lead to discarding the much sought-after soft skills that can help a company achieve roaring success.
In addition, people are more attracted to charisma and narcissism in a leader and these qualities, believe it or not, are consciously or unconsciously appreciated. When these qualities are unsupported by some concrete leadership skills, one can only assume the future of the company.
How is women leadership more effective?
Women leadership is effective not only for accelerating the progress of a company but also for the economic growth of a nation. According to the reports by McKinsey, the GDP of the world would have been $12 trillion more, if women had been provided with equal opportunities as men. Not only that, but according to the World Bank, the prevailing gender inequality is costing $23, 620 per person’s earnings.
Therefore, it’s important to change this status quo and work towards building a better, equal and fair nation that decides its leaders based on merit and not on anything else.
How to create a mechanism that supports female leadership?
To promote more female leaders, according to the article, ‘Future Is Female’, two broad changes are required to be made. The first change revolves around women who belong to lower-income groups of society. Women who belong to such strata often debar their minds from dreaming and thinking big. They change their priorities and focus more upon limited applications where only a limited amount of creative thinking skills and emotional intelligence is required.
To change this, their limiting beliefs and aspirations need to be broadened. One of the ways it can be achieved is by changing the idea of education from technical and academically oriented to more skill-based.
The second way to promote more female leaders in the workplace is to bridge the gap between policies and action. Certain ‘conventional SMEs’ and companies often hire women to fulfil the needs of the company and to portray equality on paper, but they aren’t given equal opportunities when it comes to leadership.
Under such circumstances, it is important to make women realise that their financial background, the college they attended and the place they come from, are not the limiting factors that hold them back. More often than not, women who’ve attended elite universities and institutions are often preferred over the women who have attended not-so elite or quality institutions. Therefore, this preference needs to be changed and focus has to be shifted back to the talent and potential of an individual.
Women better leaders than men – Verdict
Last but not least, no male leader or employee should perpetuate the present condition of the workforce, because in the long term it will come back to bite you, to put it very blatantly. Charlotte Gilman’s utopian novel, ‘Herland’ is the best example to portray a world with no men leaders and only women to make the land wealthy and flourishing.
With that said, it’s important to acknowledge the importance of male leadership and under no circumstances, male leaders are subjugated or condescended. The efforts are to collectively lift women and enlighten them of their potential.
Recommended reading: 7 Leadership Lessons Men Can Learn From Women