Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Cross Cultural Analyses Leading Women from the Ballroom to the Boardroom

Leading Women from the Ballroom to the Boardroom

6 min read

Shaping the Gender Roles in the Shrinking Workforce

As we enter the 21st century the dynamics of the workplace are changing. Leading women from the ballroom to the boardroom and empowering them professionally, personally and socially is bringing about a paradigm shift. Encouraging women to strengthen, explore, express and embrace their self image and presence in the workplace gears up towards breaking the gender biases by offering women a setting to excel in the 3 main domains (personal, professional & social).  Women are models for raising their kids (some do so singlehandedly) they face their fears, live alone in foreign countries, run their homes, drive classy cars, are there for their families and friends, are bona fide domestic goddesses, they host great parties; they are the givers of live and strength; these women should be celebrated both on the personal and professional platform.

These are woman who are on-the-edge-of-their-seats ready to make things happen and initiate a culture of difference. These are women who are co-creating their own future and positively impacting others within their circle so why do these same women second guess themselves in the work place and shrink in the face of their success? This very same woman becomes a doormat in the workplace, overlooks her talents and tends to dish out praise easily!  I do support women who allow their femininity to create collaboration in the work place but I do not endorse the belief of giving into the status quo out of fear of upsetting the apple cart. From a Human Resource perspective, no organization wants a trouble maker with hormones all over the place but by choosing your battles wisely, finding your voice appropriately and handling situations with finesse you will actually deliver desired results and will inevitably earn the respect of your superiors.

As an Interview Coach & Recruiter, I have interviewed over 100s of female candidates and have always been amazed at how different women interview when compared to men. Women tend to shy away from salary negotiations, whereas their male counter parts would not think twice about negotiation if they thought that the proposed remuneration was not reflecting their value. Women tend not to negotiate their salaries because they feel that they should be grateful for being offered the job or maybe they feel that negotiation would cut their chances of getting the job or they might be branded as bossy and less feminine. The shrinking workforce does not do much to deter women from this way of thinking and behaving.

Dating back to the traditionalists who believed that the office was no place for women, this bias, unfortunately has thrived for many decades and still subtly dominates the mind set. Today’s modern organizational culture adopts polices for the purpose of affecting the work/life balance  such as paid family leave, time off for child care, etc. however, women are overlooked for promotions or for senior roles because they assume these non-work type responsibilities. Unfortunately there is an unspoken protocol that the alpha male leadership strategies still prevail and these biases towards women exist regardless of whether you are in the Western or the Arab world.

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One Comment

  1. Elizabeth

    May 13, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Brilliant article!


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