Do you think that leadership that incorporates masculine and feminine strengths can benefit men as well as women?
When we talk about “gender bias,” we generally assume we’re talking about a bias against women. Not so fast. The issue is less about men and women and more about a preference for the masculine style. This affects men as well.
Having a woman set to represent a major political party in the race for the U.S. presidency is historical. I wish this could be the only way gender is a factor. How much of her low favorability ratings do you think are driven by unconscious gender bias?
I got weepy when Hillary Clinton locked up the nomination for president, not for political reasons but because it is historical. I celebrate what it says about the progress of women and what it does to our images of leadership.
Yes, there is progress in seeing more women at leadership levels in business; but the pace remains glacial. We need to understand the reasons at the deepest level – so we can pick up the pace and capture the known benefits. I was invited to post a blog on the London School of Economics Business Review. I used the opportunity to express my thoughts on the root cause. I hope you’ll read it!
Unconscious gender bias doesn’t’ appear exclusively in the corporate world. As illustrated by a true story a friend recently told me, it resides in small business, too. Our unconscious (and gendered) images of leadership are everywhere. In a family business, a woman who had worked for years was passed over when the founder retired — by a much less experienced, but male, relative. How can we broaden our “pictures” of leadership?