By Nageen (Nyn) Riffat – Business & Leadership Consultant, Coach & Author
A quote by Lawrence H Summers – a key note speaker – says “a society that does not establish pathways to leadership for all of its citizens is a society that is denying itself a possibility of excellence.” One of the challenges in last 50 years is the leadership gap between men & women.
Many discussions revolve around blaming corporate culture that affects the differential hiring and promotion of men and women. In many cases, they create a huge roadblock preventing women from advancement to top management. Selection Process, Workplace Relationships, Globalization, Internal Motivation are few of the most common barriers known for the career advancement for women.
Globalization demands relocations to new towns, cities and countries. Apparently, this has emerged as a large barrier for many women with families. We still live in a time where the man can pick a relocation and the working wife will tag with him leaving behind her career and start all over again. But rarely, a man would be expected to do this if his wife has been offered a relocation. Maybe, this is just the smallest proof of endorsing the very common saying… behind every successful man, there is a woman.
Perhaps more surprisingly, it has been observed that it’s just not the family issues; it has been adoption of new cultures and social norms. While the natural ability of women to adapt is higher than that of men, a large number of women have been unable to accept the culture shock and fail in their new environments. Similarly, women may also experience resistance in other cultures to female leadership. Many countries will simply not deal with a woman executive because of their beliefs and perceptions that women are incapable of doing business effectively. While left brain adeptness is paramount to business success, research indicates that longer term viability requires skills that transcend a narrow numerical focus.
Although it’s an indisputable fact that men and women are different both in their neurobiology and cultural training, yet the differences between men and women are not fully understood or valued. It is essential that the organizations should spend time & energy for more multicultural & diversity training for both their men & women employees to wholly embrace their differences and understand that it is diversity and difference that makes us stronger and more competitive.
Life, family and work priorities clash fiercely when it comes to women. As long as women are bearing the children in our species, women will not view child rearing and child care in the same way as men do, and will prioritize the responsibilities around it differently. Hence, I would reach out to the few women in leadership roles to take a little more responsibility of their race and mentor all the women that are accessible in their professional zone to pull them out of this dilemma- as a woman, the challenges around how to be the caregiver you want to be while being the contributive professional you long to be.
To bring about long and lasting change, to have more women leaders in the organization, it is extremely important for women also to embrace the ecosystem that they are engaged in and build their very authentic personal brand. Your true self should not fall a prey to what others are making out of it. Know your personal values and aspirations and take the journey; be confident and make the right career investments. Get help, and give it, too.
So even though the challenges of women of leadership are many, it is still less than it was 50 years ago, and is hopefully less than it will be 50 years from now. Not just women but everyone needs to keep striving for the equableness of all. Respect everyone for their successes based on that not according to which bathroom we use.
Women, you are amazing !! There’s nothing that anyone can say or do to make you believe that you are amazing. You are the only one that can convince yourself that you are. BElieve In YOUrself!
Go to https://www.nynsdreams.com/accelerateher/ if you need help to identify and amplify your strengths to maximize your career potential so that you stand out as the NON-NEGOTIABLE ASSET for any organization.