How can you not be in love with today’s woman? She is dynamic, yet simple. Aggressive yet sensitive. Confident yet inclusive. She has lifted the veil of ‘being the inferior sex’, a tag imposed upon her by several prominent evolutionists and the collective conscience of society. She has entered the so-called ‘man’s world’ and she seems to be kicking ass. I think women make natural leaders on account of some traits that we inherit and the backdrop of our upbringing. Here’s why…
1. Women can adapt
Since childhood somehow women (especially in India) are wired to leave their comfort zone and venture into a completely different environment. An environment that she has to smilingly adopt though it could be screaming of a high variance from her routine. She first accepts it willingly and then slowly makes her mark and brings out the best of her customs and her beliefs. I sometimes see many a leaders failing in a new organization as they are in a hurry to change too much too soon. They don’t give themselves enough time to soak in the culture, to bond with the people, to learn about the customers. They just want to copy paste what they learnt in their old company. Women are a lot more sensitive about this.
2. More patience with people
Let me reiterate ‘only with people’. They surely are not patient with anything else. Why else would women have such bad reputation of being poor drivers? They want to just reach their destination and waiting for another car to go is just such a waste of time. But when it comes to people (especially those who matter), they can be extremely patient. They don’t give up. They give time.
3. Less Testosterone
Many a times, board room discussions get overpowered by male machismo. Men have a long history where they were expected to display bravery and strength. They feel the need to attack and defend themselves even when the situation demands to be calm and restraining. Women thus bring in more realism and balance to decisions.
4. Better dialogue
Communicating comes naturally to women. They don’t hold back emotions and thus are a lot more liberal in giving feedback – good and bad. It makes them better at coaching a team. They usually don’t shy away from confrontations. And of course, science has proved that women are better listeners (a very important part while having a dialogue). Apparently men are better at something called motor skills.
5. Better delegation
A good leader is usually someone who delegates and then tracks progress. In India, women delegate household jobs to maids, cooks, istriwalla and in some cases sabji shopping to the watchman. They somehow go about their other work with one eye constantly on these assistants. Need I say more.
Then why do we still have so few women in boardrooms?
Is there something that is stopping them?
Are they victims of their own conditioning or of societal molds that long believed that women’s role is only to raise children, love and be passive?
Or is it because women choose to remain outside boardrooms as they are ambitious about being a good wife, good daughter, good mother etc?
Maybe a bit of all..
Some things that we women need to consciously work on as our wiring may come in our way:
1. Take charge at work
Don’t be too adjusting to authority. Stand up to it. Break the training given to you that you will obey the man of the house without questioning. Take decisions. Unfortunately in our country, women are still not decision-makers at home. Don’t let that come in your way at work. Take charge. If you decided to quit job to take care of your family, don’t blame your husband and later your kids. It’s a choice you made. Don’t play the victim ever.
2. Be Confident
Be bold. Don’t worry about how the world will perceive your actions. If you think it’s right, go ahead. Take risks. Be confident. Never let anyone else determine your self-worth. You are unique, special and never forget that. Have positive friends. They have the magical power to keep your confidence high. Be selfish sometimes. You have to love yourself more.
3. Don’t forget to enjoy
Don’t try too hard to compete or prove yourself. You don’t have to prove it to anyone. Not even to yourself. Do things that you enjoy and do them fearlessly. Don’t take everything too seriously. If you have to deal with a senior colleague who undermines you because you are a woman, just smile. He belongs to the medieval era and will be wiped out soon.
I dedicate this blog to all the 3 companies I worked for cause the only time I have known discrimination against women at workplaces is when I have read about it in the newspapers. And I dedicate it to my family, especially husband, who believes in my capabilities and lets me fly.