7 Reasons Why Women Make Better Leaders
Throughout history, important leadership roles have largely been held by men. Women have come a long way, but they still have far to go in breaking the glass ceiling.
By Matshona Dhliwayo
Numerous studies have proven that women are just as, if not more, valuable to an organization’s profitability as men are. While the debate rages on, below are seven reasons why I think large corporations should open their doors to women in leadership.
- Women are nurturing. Studies have shown that this stereotype is true. Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, studied a map of neural circuitry and the regions that lit up during certain situations, deducing that, “Women are better at intuitive thinking. Women are better at remembering things. When you talk, women are more emotionally involved―they will listen more.” As traits that are all necessary for nurturing, they may give women an edge in caring and encouraging.
- Women are hungrier. They have to work harder than men to prove themselves. Centuries of oppression have compelled them to be more ambitious, just like Jackie Robinson, who wouldn’t have been the man he was if he didn’t have to overcome discrimination, which compelled him to work harder than what was required of him just to earn a spot on the team. Oppressors always use oppression to weaken, but in many circumstances, it strengthens instead.
- Women have a higher E.Q. Science has proven that women tend to use both sides of the brain more than men do. This means they are likely to have not only the same I.Q. as men, but also a higher E.Q. At times, women also have a higher level of oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone” or “love hormone,” which is linked to bonding and social connection.
- Women persevere. They know how to persevere just as well, if not better, than men because of centuries of oppression. If women were truly weak, as some have suggested, they would not have lasted hundreds upon hundreds of years of repression. Likewise, nature would not have given them the arduous task of giving birth.
- Women are learners. Leaders are learners, and as a result are earners. North American women in particular, are graduating from college and university at higher rates than men according to a 2001 study done by statistics Canada. A study done by the U.S census bureau in 2010 concurred that women too in America, were graduating at higher rates.
- Women are non-threatening. Either because of the accepted stereotype that they are softer or because they are indeed nurturing, women are non-threatening. Being or seeming innocuous makes them more approachable, and being more approachable makes them more effective. It is easier to influence people when they feel you are accessible. They won’t be afraid to bring you new ideas and insights that will take your organization to greater heights.
- Women are good multi-taskers. Since time immemorial, women have been wearing many hats, and juggling many roles makes them suitable for leadership. Leaders have to learn to be a parent to few, a friend to some, and a teacher to all. They have to be one thing to their peers, another to their employees, and another to their customers.
My conclusion: women are just as qualified as men to lead. If they weren’t, men wouldn’t spend so much time and energy trying to keep them down. Their actions hint that they may have an inferiority complex; you are never threatened by what is below you―only what is above you. If women are performing better than men in financial industry sectors, as in the U.S., they should not only earn the same as their male counterparts, but also be given a seat at the table.