Gender & Temperament Equality in Leadership

As a female navigating Leadership, and having coached many women in leadership positions; I find today’s article: particularly relevant. The importance of gender and temperament equality at the top benefits everyone: since such diversity is proven to enhance creativity and boost productivity. Without gender- and temperament-inclusive cultures, organizations suffer from innovation deficits.

There is a discrepancy in what is expected from men and women. Women leaders are expected to navigate a tightrope between being seen as competent (with related stereotypically male qualities of competitiveness and assertiveness) and compassionate (with related stereotypically female qualities of nurturance and sensitivity). This causes women to be seen as too harsh if they are too assertive, or too soft if they are sensitive. This “tightrope” causes women to feel  “different forms of social punishment” if they are “too much” or “not enough” of a particular type to fit in the mold of leadership. The social punishments influence women to participate less than men in their classes, which then contributes to widespread perceptions that they are passive and unassertive—less fit to lead.

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