03 November 2007

Women leaders don't have what it takes

This article in yesterday's New York Times (hat tip to Cecilia) informs us that that women simply don't have what it takes to be leaders. So says research by Catalyst, an organisation that that studies women in the workplace.

But hold on a minute, what is this 'it' that we women don't have? Well, in the US and the UK, 'it' is the ability to inspire other people. And American and British respondents don't think that women have the ability to inspire people.

Norwegian women, on the other hand, apparently have no problem inspiring people. Except that the Norwegian respondents value delegating ability in their leaders and Norwegian women, apparently, can't delegate.

Hmm, so Norwegian women can inspire and American and British Women can delegate, but all women are missing that 'it factor' that it takes to be a good leader. Just so I understand that correctly; being a woman, it takes me a bit longer to understand things.

And I doubt this will come as a surprise to any of my sisters:

They [women] are expected to be nurturing, but seen as ineffective if they are too feminine.... They are expected to be strong, but tend to be labeled as strident or abrasive when acting as leaders.


Sally said...


Anonymous said...

As to your final quote, my wife and several other women have commented that they will not vote for Hillary because since she i running for president she wants too much power.
I also remember my mother saying she would never work for a woman.

I don't understand this way of thinking, but it makes me wonder if the people who did the study interviewed more women than men.

I suspect that Hillary is going to have a very difficult time getting the female vote.

Mike L

Michaela said...

Doesn't it just drive you dotty! This argument I guess comes down to what people mean by leadership. Most women don't have the 'It' required to lead like most men - after all, we would be less likely to go to war, more likely to increase spending on education health, arts.... we would be leaders who understood the need to balance our life - not have governments that make laws until gone midnight and then wonder why so many political marriages breakdown. Okay, so I'm ranting now...

PamBG said...

Rant way, Michaela. It seems to me that the definition of 'leadership' morphs when it gets near two X chromosomes.