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Role Of Women Leadership Essay

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Women Leadership: And The Struggles That Come With It
By: Jordann Krouse

“A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everyone else.” The author of this quote is unknown, yet its message resonates with many. Women everywhere have led the continuing struggle for their rights and independence, yet there is still a way to go. One of the key areas that we have yet to see develop in increased female presence, is that of leadership. Positions of leadership remained closed to this day for females based solely on their sex. This is clearly an issue. One that many have been making strides in, but still has yet to be conquered. But one thing is very clear, women can serve just as well, if not better, as leaders then men. Yet
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Looking to the examples in social media and popular culture it is easy to notice. Women are portrayed as sexual objects, rather then human beings. That is why it is increasingly difficult for female leaders to be taken seriously. These social images that we have of women affect how they are viewed as leaders, and it is a mainly negative view. “For the most part, those studies revealed what we have all come to expect: female leaders get defined in traditional ways…We are nurturers, caretakers, communicators, and bridge builders. Male leaders, in contrast, were most often described as focused on action and results and less oriented toward the relationship dimension of leadership,” states Tricia Naddaff in Chapter 18 of Enlightened Power. Naddaff explains how the perception of leadership differs based on gender. Women are often perceived as ‘bossy’ when expressing the same amount of control as a man. For a clear example of this look to 2016 democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor. Bossy is often a term used against women leaders, and Sotomayor and Clinton are Exhibit A for why the word matters: that others had called them bossy was used to argue they were ill-suited for the public offices they sought. In an article for USA Today, Deborah Tannen explored the reason behind this word and its effect in leadership, “I found that women…show more content…
This ties in closely with the social aspect considering it also deals with stereotypes of women. Yet in the political sphere we will focus more on the actual differences between women and men in leadership and how women can lead just as well despite these differences. David Gergen explains how a new form of leadership is developing, and women are extremely suited for it. “360-degree leadership—that is, leadership that requires you to listen and learn from others around your outer circles…Women leaders, as it turns out, seem perfectly tailored for this new style.” Gergen goes on to explain how the typical qualities associated with women leaders, relational and inclusive, are the qualities needed to flourish with this new style. Of course this does not mean that men are unable to adapt to this style, there have been many successful male leaders who have led with it. But the focus here is on the fact that despite women being extremely capable, they still are not granted these positions based on their gender. Women constitute 47% of the US’s work force and 63% of all workers earning a minimum wage or less. Yet they represent only 13.6% Fortune 500 boards according to Marie Wilson in Closing the Leadership Gap. It is imperative that we resolve this issue. Women can and should be leaders, yet are unable to because of the obstacles and discrimination they
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