Over the past few weeks I’ve been pondering on what it means to be a woman in leadership. There are so many amazing women out there across our industries that bring so much to their workplaces, and I’ve reflected on the qualities that for me clearly speaks that this is a woman who leads in her true power.
The qualities that stand out most for me include nurturing, understanding and holding. By holding, I mean the ability to observe situations without reacting immediately or needing to ‘do’ something, but rather knowing when and what is needed next. There are of course other qualities relating to productivity etc, however it is these first qualities I see that determine the level of productivity and the ‘quality’ of what has been produced. To see a woman lead in the authority of her natural nurturing ways is exquisite…inspiring and magnetic.
A man’s qualities are different though equally and undeniably as beautiful. In the home environment I am blessed to see several men bring the quality of care and tenderness to their partners and children and to the community around them. I see this also with the father of my own children who exudes these qualities with ease and joy. It’s funny that we see these qualities at home, and yet in the corporate environment work stresses, along with gender attitudes and the fear of being judged often get in the way of men bringing these same qualities to their work and or their fellow colleagues..though this is not always the case.
Women on the other hand I see toughen up in an attempt to out man the man and it doesn’t help that we have approached and continue to approach gender equality as a competition, or battle of the sexes to out do, or out earn each other, or in a woman’s case, fight for equal respect, treatment or wages.
I feel true gender equality is simply an honouring of the innate qualities that both men and women hold. This would see a focus on appreciating more what each gender brings, and how that can best serve us in our workplaces, with neither being seen as more or less important than the other.
Approached in this way both genders could get on with their work with no need to look or fight for equality.
But perhaps for this to occur there is more understanding along with a true livingness from both men and women of what our true qualities are? This would be a great place for us to start.