Obstacles for Women in Leadership.
The Dalai Lama, at the Vancouver Peace Top in 2009, said that “The world will be conserved by the western female.”
This is a quite huge thing to live up to though females leaders have always been influential – partly because of their expected rarity value in the past which is the good news is not so present these days. However what has actually brought them to the fore has been the economic crisis of the last few years. If you take a look at the way the banking and monetary structures have suffered over the last number of years (particularly in US and UK) and those structures have been established and run mainly by men, you can see why women leaders are being taken far more seriously than ever before and for this reason the well-known quote from the Dalai Lama himself!
What makes women leaders special
Any individual who takes on the role of leading is in fact special however it could be argued that all of us are, in our own way, leaders -of households, teams, managers, friends, communities, companies and so on. So are ladies leaders actually unique? What makes ladies leaders unique is what makes ladies different. 3 secrets elements of this are:
Using a less competitive-more collective method
Having a genuine desire to listen to others and deal with them to solve issues
Being prepared to be good example of effective leadership and ‘stroll their talk’
But do they pay a rate?
I deal with senior executive ladies and discover that there are a number of common problems that ladies on top face. However first, keep in mind that any woman who reaches the top of her profession (or extremely near it) has already displayed substantial talent and application just to arrive; top ladies are highly intelligent, extremely capable people, very knowledgeable and proficient at their tasks.
But here are some typical difficulties I have been told about:
Isolation as they are often the only one or one of the few and they get little support, though they offer a lot of support to females who are showing up through the organisation
Underselling of themselves, their skills and achievements when compared to their male counterparts
A pain in leadership in male dominated hierarchies as they in some cases force themselves to be the kind of leader their organisation anticipates instead of the kind of leader they really want to be
A repeating lack of confidence -yes, even those females at the top who deal with board rooms full of guys on a regular basis admit that deep inside they sometimes feel daunted and unpleasant
An acknowledgement that whatever they do and nevertheless far they increase within the organisation, they are never somehow quite accepted because of course they are not ‘among the boys’; they do not want to be ‘one of the boys’ either so they deal with this constant paradox
How we can help our women leaders ‘conserve the world’? The females I understand do not desire special concessions or special steps to help them; they are quite efficient in assisting themselves as they have needed to do during their corporate or entrepreneurial climb. They are typically extremely organised too as those with households and partners and other responsibilities outside work, ensure that all remains in order as far as possible with possible conflicts anticipated. The home organisation is still their province in many cases even if they do not do it themselves, though some have ‘home spouses’. However it is all too obvious that whether it is nature or support elements that have implied all of us regular females experience crises of self-confidence, so do these top women. At base there is a lack of self-belief and an uncertainty and the inner game that obstructs us going forward exist in even the most distinguished of ladies.