Women in a leadership role are known to be more compassionate and empathetic. They tend to manage teams in an open and inclusive way, and use a transformational leadership style that helps organizations and people to move beyond self-interest and do what’s best for a company as a whole.
Of course, this leadership style is not true for all women. It does vary from woman to woman. However studies show that today’s female leaders tend to have more qualities that encompass women in general. For example, qualities that women commonly possess are guidance, patience, a nurturing style that is empathy and understanding.
Don’t misunderstand me, powerful women are no pushover. In fact, having women at the boardroom table can result in serious debates that often impact how policy resources are spent, and how policies of change are structured, rolled out and enforced.
To elaborate, a study conducted in Canada at Carleton University on the impact of women in the public sector. The study indicated that women were influential in many key decisions and Canadian policies, including fisheries, national security, natural resources, human resources and international relations. It was shown that due to a women’s open and collaborative style and perspective that their impact was substantial.
Sadly, based on current trends, as reported by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the income gap for women could take an additional 118 years to close. On the bright side, the WEF study also mentioned that approximately half of the countries around the world have already had a female head of state or head of government, which indicates progress is being made.
Although the goal of creating a government comprised of 50% women by 2050 has a long way to go, it’s clear that powerful women – the likes of Hillary Clinton, and Germany’s Angela Merkel – are starting to break through the glass ceiling, and rise in business and politics.
Perhaps the world is starting to recognize that we need leaders with diverse skill sets, and leader who can complement each other’s leadership style. Innovation, fairness, equality as well as negotiating skills and tough policy creation need several perspectives. Women bring a different set of skills, perspectives and cultural and transformational uniqueness into the fold that can drive effective solutions, and influence the way global problems are solved.
That’s why it is important for all women in leadership roles to continue to push forward. To advocate for fairness, equality, compassion and diversity, and to benefit policy changes in a positive way.
Having more female leaders – whether in the boardroom or in politics – can break down cultural and structural barriers and show other women what is possible to achieve.
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