Part I: Women & Leadership: Challenges

Building up towards World’s Women’s Day next month (March 08), I am dedicating this post and the next to identifying challenges in, and remedial frameworks for, women’s progression to leadership roles in the workplace.

In this post, I’ll collate the challenges women face in their progression to leadership roles. And in Part II next month, I’ll discuss remedial measures and programs that have already been implemented to improve gender diversity in the workplace.

While researching an article in 2012, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman surveyed 7’280 leaders on 16 leadership characteristics, asking them to rate male and female leaders in each category. The survey indicated that women leaders outscored men in 12 of the 16 leadership competencies. Surprisingly, the two categories where women outscored men the most were Taking Initiative and Driving for Results. These are traditionally considered as male/ aggressive strengths; strengths that the ‘nurturing’ female leader is too soft to excel at.

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