Women are smart. Women are capable. Women make great leaders. So why are only 4.9% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 2% of S&P 500 CEOs women? Could it be because of the outdated, erroneous myths that surround both men and women when it comes to taking charge? This is the basis of my discussion in a recent article in IntelligentHQ where I argue that despite enormous strides in business, government and many other areas, women often don’t get the respect men do for their leadership abilities, even when they can point to greater accomplishments. You can read the article here.
This gender disparity is also the focus of my new book, Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business in which I chronicle a number of women who have spoken out, broken through, and redefined what society has always told them was true about their capabilities.
It’s time we started seeing women leaders through a fresh lens. When we do, we will all benefit from their styles and their successes.
It might just be that the combination of the pandemic, the recession and the upcoming 2020 election will be the impetus for changing the way we view women and their leadership styles, a development that is long overdue, I state in the article. For example, a number of countries led by women have fared better during the COVID-19 pandemic than those led by men, with New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-Wen being hailed for their strong leadership. Will this recognition turn into real change in attitudes toward women leaders?
I also talk about:
· Research published last year in the Harvard Business Review shows women score better on leadership qualities. Managers, even male managers, saw women as more effective than men in virtually every area, including areas typically viewed as male strongholds such as IT, operations and legal.
· More female mentors and role models will mean more female leaders. As more women become leaders and assume positions of authority, the more they can help other women on their way up.
· An anthropological approach can help women, and men, come up with innovative ideas for solving unmet needs. Do some observational research and experience your product or service from your customers’ or employees’ point of view. You’ll be amazed at what you discover and the new ideas that bubble up.
On so many fronts, long-held biases about women and what they can do must change. The time is now.
Learn from women who have not let barriers stop them
- Blog: It’s Time To Smash the Myths of Women in Business
- Podcast: Shellye Archambeau—How You Can Be Unapologetically Ambitious
- Podcast: Tracy Higginbotham—Now Is The Time For Women To Help Women Build Better Businesses
Ready to smash some myths?
I am thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of my new book, Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business in which I share 11 case studies, including my own, of smart, accomplished women who were told they couldn’t be a lawyer, couldn’t start their own business, couldn’t be a geoscientist. Guess what? They did it anyway and became phenomenal successes. Preorder your copy here.
What myths are holding you back? Contact me if you’re ready to start your journey of achieving everything you deserve.
From Observation to Innovation,
Andi Simon, Ph.D.
Corporate Anthropologist | President
Simon Associates Management Consultants
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