Sarah Boyd


The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation

Women In Leadership

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The 2011-12 Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that although women make up almost half of the workforce as a whole (46%), women are still vastly under-represented at senior levels within both the private and public sector. These statistics are very similar across many countries.

(image credit @jshnaaa)

(image credit @jshnaaa)

As much as we have come a long way in gender equality, leadership is still an area that remains thought of in masculine terms. This is a big mistake. I believe that women are created and designed to work in complementary partnership with men. This is not because women are the same as men, but because we are uniquely different in balancing ways.

Studies in neuroscience are already showing the differences between how men and women process information. Women tend to integrate details faster, and arrange this data into more complex patterns (hence all the jokes about being complicated!). When women make decisions they tend to weigh all the variables and use intuition a lot more. Men are more likely to focus on one thing at a time, which gives great focus. Men also tend to analyze data in amore causal linear pattern and make decisions based on facts.

We need all of these skills in order to run successful businesses and workplaces. Women shouldn’t have to try to be men in order to be respected leaders, we should feel confident to gain respect because we are different, not in spite of it.

It is still very much a glass ceiling in our minds. Studies show that companies with women in top executive positions have significantly more women in middle management positions as well. It seems that when we are in an environment that values women in leadership and also has examples to follow that we are much more likely to aspire in that direction.

It is so important. We have new generations of girls and women coming through that have vast potential on the inside and ability to lead others. But many will give up and become overwhelmed at the boys clubs in certain occupations, gender discrimination, lack of female leadership example, life, family and the list goes on. We need to continue to make ground in the area of leadership so that women have a choice. If it’s something they desire, then it is a possibility…

Now I’d like to hear from you – what do you think are the unique qualities that women bring to leadership positions?

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The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation.