Saturday, February 24, 2007

At least 3 blog posts per month: One on leadership

Went on a miniweb search to do my one post for the week on leadership. My search affirmed some of the reasons I believe women may not be recognized as leaders. Despite the recent selection of a woman as Harvard’s president (Women Increasingly Likely To Be Leaders in U.S. Higher Education) and the statistics from the BizDean's Blog that women make up slightly more than half of U.S. jobs created in the first part of the new decade the leadership issues from old decades do not seem to be going away.

Listened to, but did not enjoy Newsweek’s Barbara Kantrowitz msnbc audio on Women in Leadership that outlined women’s role models and tips for success. Perhaps women are not promoted to leadership positions because of the lack of women as mentors (most women in this interview were mentored by men). Perhaps it's related to this sad, shortlist of tips the women interviewees provided to aspiring women leaders.

Sample leadership lessons shared in the audio:

  1. Never cry in the office. (This was identified as Number 1!)
  2. Don’t create obstacles for yourself.
  3. Be passionate about your work and what you do.
  4. Work hard and don’t let criticism distract you.
  5. Don’t sell yourself short.

Wonder how many male leaders got their positions by following a list of similar lessons? Wonder if the newly hired woman president at Harvard listed never crying in the office as a leadership strength on her CV?

Recent research from the Center for High Performance Development (CHPD), on leadership qualities among male and female managerial staff had results that indicated women performed better than men on three of the main leadership quality measures (thinking, developing and achieving) and equally on the fourth (inspiring).

Chris Parry of the CHPD stated, “ women are given fewer opportunities in a male-run organization” and that men are better at “getting exposure, being visible, communicating upwards, getting people to know” what they are doing. Women, according to Parry expect to get promoted on ability and do not display the self-confidence that men do in the workplace.

Oh, and did I mention, “the wage gap persists: In 2005, the median weekly pay for women was $486, or 73% of that for men -- $663 (Biz Dean’s Talk)”. I could just cry, but I won’t, as I am an aspiring leader.

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