Over the past two years, the movement for gender diversity and gender equality between men and women has gained momentum across the globe. Be it politics, social reform, business, defense or any sector, women, and men have been working for a change and for a world where an opportunity is no longer shaped and constrained by being a man or a woman. But are women better global leaders than men?
Are Women Better Global Leaders Than Men?
Women empowerment is the new buzz word. We find that the world is changing for the better for women. Organizations have started realizing the importance of a balanced workforce, and gender diversity and gender equality have helped improve the proportion of the female workforce. Besides their traditional roles, they have been making remarkable achievements in other areas as well. Over the decade, there has been an accelerating trend of women joining men in senior leadership positions. Fortune Magazine states that the number of Fortune 500 women CEOs increased four-fold in the past decade. Time magazine reports that 54% of men and 69% of women say they believe that there would be fewer problems in the world if there were more women in business and government. Numerous studies show that companies run by women significantly outperform their industry rivals.
What could and what are women bringing to society as global leaders? Why at this moment in history is there such a marked increase in the number of women leaders? Are we entering an era in which both male and female leaders will shape history? Are women better global leaders than men?
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Here are some reasons which justify the fact that women can be great global leaders.
Women have always been a great multitasker. We see women who besides handling household chores and raising a family also go for a 9 to 6 job. And this they do so with utmost sincerity. The ability to decisively and quickly respond to simultaneous and different tasks or problems at a time is a critical component to successful leadership.
Communication is said to be among a woman’s most useful skill, and female leaders know how to use it. Women take the time to listen and then speak. This makes them better listeners and great communicators. Whether communicating with employers, co-workers, or partners, an open communication stream allows for clarity in executing roles and responsibilities. Female business leaders are able to communicate regularly, clearly and openly.
High Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence has recently gained popularity as essential leadership behavior. Women are naturally empathetic. This enables them to have a strong understanding of what drives and motivates people. They can sense the thoughts and feelings of others and respond in some appropriate way.
Focus On Teamwork
It is an observation that women consistently demonstrate passion, enthusiasm and an immense capacity to serve and be served by others. They make a bold and wise decision as leaders while relying on others to be a part of their team. While a male leader may turn out to be more authoritative, women leaders are generally more cooperative.
Despite women’s impressive gains in education and the workplace, men greatly outnumber women in leadership, especially in top positions. From corporate boardrooms to the halls of Congress, from universities to the courts, from religious institutions to philanthropic organizations, men are much more likely than women to be leaders. As of the 2018 Fortune list, only 24 women (4.8%) were the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Women account for less than a quarter (24%) of senior roles globally. In 2017, women accounted for 22% of Executive Committee roles in America, 15% in Europe and only 4% in Asia.
What Is It That Is Inhibiting Their Ability To Lead Globally?
Lack Of Confidence
While a woman has a strong sense of responsibility and can easily take charge of situations, most of them often face self-doubt. There is a sense of emptiness in the psyche of a woman which deters her from believing in her self. While gender equality aims to uplift women yet lack of confidence results in their under performance. No business needs an un-confident leader.
Profit is the result of risk-taking, and a good leader is willing to take calculative risks for the betterment of the company. It is an observation that women avoid taking hard decisions and shy away from speaking out loud. A good leader is never hesitant to make bold decisions and put forward his points.
If you wish you lead a successful business, you need to use your brain more and your heartless. While a woman is an excellent worker, they are also exceptional human beings. In the process, sometimes emotions get in their way of decision making, and this may hamper the business. Leaders need to make tough decisions and being rational is more important than being emotional.
We have examples of female global leaders like Mrs. Indra Nooyi – Ex CEO of PepsiCo and Mrs. Mary Barra – the Chairman and CEO of General Motors among others who have proved their mettle and are very successful business leaders. We also have examples of Mr. Tim Cook – the CEO of Apple and Mr. Warren Buffett – one of the most successful investors in the world who has been compelling male leaders in their industries.
Thus we can successfully conclude that leadership is not a function of the gender of an individual. The ability to lead depends on various competencies acquired by an individual and how he/she applies those qualities in the work environment. Yes, recent developments in the space of women empowerment and gender equality have boosted the morale of female employees in the organization and several organizations are considering women for senior positions. While this was quite unlikely in the past few decades however with the changing tides, the scenario in the working environment has also started changing.
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