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Women In Leadership Positions


The human race is generally divided into two recognizable sexes, male and female. Members of these different sexes have distinct traits which have evolved over centuries. While to some extent it can clearly be seen that these characteristics make one sex more likely to achieve success in certain fields than others, it is often argued that when it comes to leadership, women should be allowed just as many opportunities as men. There are certain barriers to this however. This essay will discuss three of the most prominent ones.

Motherhood

Becoming a mother does not have to come at the expense of being a leader and indeed many mothers have manages to balance the care of their families with leadership positions quite admirably. The issue is that males are not biologically required to put as much effort into the creation of offspring. While their female counterparts experience pregnancy and can become either extremely sick or merely larger for nine months at a time, men can conceivably continue their lives with business as usual. This means that more of their attention can go towards whatever team they happen to be leading. This continues into nursing if a woman decides to breastfeed.

Cultural Expectation

Aside from the explicit biological reality of pregnancy and nursing, there are many cultural expectations that females are confronted with from girlhood all the way to maturity. They are expected t be delicate, feminine, nurturing and sweet. Females who display traits that are different to this are often criticized. Unfortunately, the majority of those traits are useless or even harmful in a leader. In addition, it is not uncommon for women to feel pressured to shoulder most of the domestic burdens in their households despite working the same number of hours per week as their husbands. This makes shouldering the challenges of a leader that much harder.

The Glass Ceiling

While some of the challenges faced are incidental or happen as a result of uncontrollable factors, there are also many cases of direct discrimination against women. Most women earn less than their male counterparts who are doing the same job with the same qualifications. They are also more likely to be bypassed in promotions in favor of men who may even have less seniority. This means that they may work hard only to see someone else rewarded on the basis of sex.

While female leaders face additional challenges, many have defeated these and achieved success. Their examples inspire young girls who might otherwise give up.

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