Student-Author: Pallavi Sharma (India)
master student at Emotional Management of International Business Complexity course 1 – Spring 2022
Leadership is a virtue that has held every group in place, whether we talk about a family, a friend circle, a classroom, a political party, or any business. For instance, a family can only lead wonderful family life if the leader of the family is doing the leadership with all his heart and mind, now the same applies to a classroom, a school, a business, and so on.
To run any business in a smooth manner the factor that matters the most is the head or leader of the business, who has the power to control the various sectors related to that business in his/her hands; and how does the leader utilize that given power. It has been noticed for a huge number of decades that men were the ones who used to lead all kinds of businesses whether it is factories, industrial sector, educational or financial firms. But now with this trend has come to an end, nowadays women are equally contributing in managerial roles in all those mentioned fields of jobs.
In this era where gender equality is at its highest level, women have been noticed to be working as managers and in other leadership positions in various businesses. Also, it is vivid that women are doing no less than men as leaders. However, in some aspects females are even better.
As stated by Boyington (2022) that females in business offer abilities that have the potential to change workplace culture. Women frequently exhibit distinct leadership styles than males, typically leading with compassion, integrity, and respect.
This report is intended to elaborate on the role and responsibilities of women as leaders. While it supports women’s empowerment at the same time there are a lot of challenges related to it too, which the following segments will shed light on.
The biggest challenge for working women: Family and Kids
Whereas some individuals may believe that the household chores and children become the most difficult hurdles for the women who want to step out of their homes and work at high designations for various businesses.
However, these things eventually fill more ethical values in the personality of a female. Women who handle their family, house, kids, and work with time attain multi-tasking and extra-ordinary time management skills, which helps them in business handling. They can encourage their employees to take those skills into practice too. Hence, they can set an outstanding example of hard work for their peers, juniors, and other masses related to that business sector.
Moreover, females are more empathetic as compared to their male counterparts. This value helps them to maintain a healthy relationship with the people working under their leadership. They can easily feel and understand their employees’ expectations of them. This leads to the satisfactory experience of the team members of the business, which automatically makes the business successful.
Moreover, often the women with kids are underestimated and it is thought that they are not capable of handling their children and leading several workers simultaneously.
But as quoted by Eleanor Roosevelt, this is misleading thinking about the feminine group:
“A woman is like a tea bag- you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
Other difficulties faced by women as a leader
There are difficulties, problems, and stress related to all kinds of jobs that everyone has to face at their work irrespective of gender. However, female bosses are the ones who have to confront various different issues that their counterparts do not have to. These includes:
- Physical challenges: Every month all the females over the globe experience the menstrual cycle which affects their physical ability, change their physical needs and affects their mood. Females go through hormonal changes which makes it hard for them to concentrate or perform their duty with as much strength as they usually do.
- Family planning: It is true that family planning involves both males and females. It cannot be ignored that whether man and woman are 50-50 contributors towards having a baby, but it is the female who undergoes the pregnancy and obviously carrying a human inside you for whole nine months and working as a manager of a company is not a joke. The majority of females go on maternity leave between their fourth the sixth months of pregnancy.
- Lower pay rates for women: It is one basic rule of equity that males and females should have the same economic opportunities in their lives. However, it has been witnessed all over the globe that women are paid less as compared to men. For an instance, during the times of pandemic, it was reported that women were making less than their male counterparts, even in the sectors especially affected by the coronavirus.
This infographic depicts sexual orientation wage gaps for ladies working in two healthcare occupations with very disparate income levels but a similar focus on providing basic healthcare administration.
Women leadership statistics worldwide
Taking the roles such as Chief Finance Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Information Officer the contribution of women playing these roles for different companies has been raised with a huge percentile of 31% in the year 2021. This mentioned percentile is known to be the highest raise in the women leadership roles ever recorded. Other than the increment in the percentage of work positions, it is also seen that 90% of the companies all over the globe have a minimum of one female officer performing one of the senior management obligations.
Minna (content creator at Finnwards Oy) mentioned in her report, “According to Chief’s poll, women made up 7% of the CEOs of Finland’s 160 publicly listed firms. The proportion was significantly greater for the largest enterprises, at 12.5%.” (2020).
The Women Entrepreneurs of Finland (n.d.) is the association that was established in the year 1947 and it is yet one of the only a handful of central hubs of female entrepreneurs. The betterment of Finnish ladies in the sector of business and finance is the main motive of this organization. Apart from this, Finnish females were the first on the planet to set up their own organizations and participate in independent companies.
After considering all the factors affecting the women in business leadership, even though there are numerous difficulties that women must face in this society for working in huge business sectors, women still manage to cope with all those hardships and perform their duties with full determination.
While a worldwide economical emergency was going on, an examination was held of 90 US banks from 1999 to 2015 that female contribution on boards boosts firm performance once the least threshold of female board individuals has been accomplished i.e., 30% of female representatives. Having more women also adds a variety in the range of skills to the team.
Women are fully capable as well as knowledgeable of running any business and handling the employees.
Boyington, A. (2022). Why Women Make Great Business Leaders. Online MBA. Accessed on 11 May 2022. Retrieved from https://www.onlinemba.com/blog/why-women-make-better-business-leaders/#:~:text=Women%20in%20business%20bring%20skills,compassion%20and%20empathy%20than%20men
Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2020). The Business Case for Women in Leadership. Leadership Strategy. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomaspremuzic/2022/03/02/the-business-case-for-women-in-leadership/?sh=430144a49cbb
Research. Catalyst 60. (2022). Women in Management: Quick Take. (2022, March 01). Accessed on 03 June 2022. Retrieved from https://www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-management/#:~:text=Globally%2C%20the%20Share%20of%20Women%20in%20Senior%20Management%20Is%20Increasing%20Incrementally&text=In%202021%2C%20the%20proportion%20of,management%20role%20as%20of%202021.
The Women Entrepreneurs of Finland. (n.d.). Accessed on 03 June 2022. Retrieved from https://www.yrittajanaiset.fi/en/#:~:text=Finnish%20women%20were%20the%20first,to%20form%20their%20own%20organisation
Wilson, V. (2020). Exposed and underpaid. Working Economic Blog. Economic Policy Institute. Accessed 03 June 2022. Retrieved from https://www.epi.org/blog/exposed-and-underpaid-women-still-make-less-than-men-including-in-sectors-especially-affected-by-the-coronavirus/