According to Michelle Obama, “Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s life.” Leadership is all about that difference that we make in the lives of people around us. And when we talk about leadership, we are naturally drawn to the question of the increasingly prominent role of modern women in leadership.
The power of persuation, empathy and communication make women natural leaders in any field they choose to undertake. Mother is a child’s first teacher which goes on to prove beyond doubt that an empowered woman has the immense power to transform a generation. The qualities like nurturing, listening, expressing, that we nowadays term as soft skills, come naturally to women which make them adapt to management roles so easily as compared to their male counterparts.
Since time immemorial, women have been quite hesitant in getting for themselves a leadership position in society. The scene in India is a lot more disbalanced because of our overtly patriarchal mindset. Our age old customs and traditions have repeatedly relegated the fairer sex to the background. In fact, the feeling of inequality and gender bias is so deep-rooted in the minds of some of our menfolk that many are not comfortable working under female bosses or even viewing women in power positions. Often women are themselves to be blamed for preferring to walk a step behind their fathers, sons or spouses. When it comes to the education of their children, a son’s career is given preference over that of a daughter’s because she is seen as someone who is going to get married and go away.
What is it that makes women so good in leadership roles?
According to Anna Crowe, CEO and founder, Crowe PR, “Most women are naturally empathetic and value relationships. This enables them to have a strong understanding of what drives and motivates people, and how to acknowledge different people for their performance.” Women have some inherent qualities which definitely set them apart from their male counterparts be it at home or in the industry. The motherly instinct which gives them the quality to nurture, ensures that they give a fair chance to all and handle any situation in a balanced way. They are more patient listeners and they do not react when faced with a difficult situation.
The positives of women in leadership roles are evident when we think of towering personalities like Malala Yousufzai, Michelle Obama, Indra Nooyi, Sheryl Sandberg. They inspire a sense of awe and pride. A recent report said that the countries having women leaders have handled the Covid-19 crisis better. The recent win and popularity of of Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, goes on to prove beyond doubt that from the boardroom to politics, there is no area where women have not left their mark.
To conclude, we can say that the journey has just begun. When you have a woman at the helm, there is naturally a sense of cooperation and harmony rather than a rat race. Women are natural problem solvers. The companies are fast realising it and taking necessary steps. In India the ratio of women assuming leadership roles is a bit skewed in favour of men but the winds of change are blowing and we are optimistic that in a few years we are going to see more women assuming power positions.