Fueled by the Empowerment Movement: A Look at Disempowerment and Working Women

Fueled by the Empowerment Movement: A Look at Disempowerment and Working Women

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There are great women who work each day in the public and private sector. Some of those women were pioneers of the Women’s Movement before there was a Women’s Movement. Bette Davis is quoted as saying, “When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch.” (Ramsdale, 2014). Another more recent pioneer was a part of the Women’s Movement. Hillary Rodman Clinton is quoted as saying, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfil my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life” (Ramsdale, 2014). The trouble with empowerment is not that it is ineffective; the trouble lies in the miscommunication of the message that causes dysempowerment.
The root causes of Disempowerment can be viewed through a lens focused on affronts to the dignity of one or more of the players on the team. When the receiver of the message views comments, directions, actions, or body language to be disrespectful, empowerment is compromised (Smith, 2000, p. 101). The weight of the damage may not be easily weighed at the time of the perceived indignation. The impact varies greatly based on the gravity of the event and the witnesses to the affront who feel a likeness to the person who was impacted (p. 101). It is discussed by Dayne Smith, “Women at Work: Leadership for the Next Century” (2000), that different demographics and groups may be more vulnerable to the affronts, and based on their world views may be more or less impacted by a perceived affront (p. 101). Therefore, as leaders one must always be mindful of their actions and the message such actions are sending. An assumingly innocuous statement or action may cause a downward spiral t...


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...ntify areas of concern within their personal communication style and within the organization. Additionally, by providing training of cultural, gender and demographic differences in communicating within a diverse workforce, feed changes within the organization. Training management staff to recognize the differences in perceptions will minimize the likelihood of incidents reoccurring. Lastly, by making amends to individuals or groups who have felt minimized by perceived inappropriate behaviors, management can identifying the error(s) and work to rebuild a working relationship of trust, respect, dignity and equal value of worth for all employees.




Works Cited

Ramsdale, S. (2014). 28 Empowering Quotes From Women Who Kick Ass. Marie Claire.

Smith, D. M. (2000). Women at Work:Leadership for the Next Century. Prentice Hall, a Pearson Education company.

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