I recently came across an article entitled “Five Female Leadership Qualities That Will Spur Business Success.” Intrigued about their opinion on what aspects of leadership are inherently feminine, I looked through the list of five characteristics:
1. Show ambition
2. Lead by example
3. Be approachable
4. Build support networks
5. Ensure you have a balanced home life
My immediate response was one of confusion. Where was the golden ticket to success that only I as a woman could hold? Though the title promised female leadership qualities, these characteristics seemed very gender-neutral to me. My second reaction was one of irritation. Though I am fully in support of the empowerment that lies at the foundation of any feminist message, there is a point at which too much encouragement begins to feel false. Being reassured constantly that we too have qualities to be leaders acts to undermine a message I was brought up not to question in the first place.
The article concludes with a statement that “with the right mentality, gender is no longer a barrier to becoming a respected business leader.” However if it is no longer a barrier, why is it a still a dichotomy that needs to be acknowledged and used to tailor leadership into two distinct styles? We should undeniable emulate those that are successful in the field, and by doing so embody qualities of effective leadership whether those are traits are found in men or women.
I encourage people to check out the article, their observations on leadership are insightful and good to keep in mind when considering how to approach management in a healthcare profession. Yet while I appreciate the intent of the article to provide women with the tools to become successful leaders, it would have just as effectively caught my attention with the title “Five Professional Leadership Qualities That Will Spur Business Success.”
Link to the article: http://www.managers.org.uk/insights/opinion/2015/march/five-female-leadership-qualities-that-will-spur-business-success
Blog post by Nicole Haug
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