How interesting that the world is opening up to female leaders. It is irrelevant what you think about them, but the fact is we see more female leaders stepping forward to run countries in what can only be termed a very troubled and challenging period. Hilary Clinton in the USA – will she become the next president? Teresa May slipping through in the turmoil created by Brexit and Angela Merkel holding strong in Germany as the German Chancellor. Then the Prime Ministers of Thailand, Denmark, Iceland, Australia, Bangledesh and Trinidad and Tabogo are all women, as are the Presidents of Lithuania, Liberia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil and Finland. Quite a sizeable representation of women in top leadership positions, very often in countries that are culturally showing more masculine than feminine qualities. (Hofstede)
What are the principle characteristics of female leadership? Can we characterize these principles and definitively separate them from the principles of male leadership? Unlikely because styles of leadership differ amongst men and women equally depending on education, experience, courage, individuality, stamina and so on. However, when looking at women and men, there are differences and when women bring these differences into play we might see different characteristics, which most women have naturally.
- Intuitive and sensitive emotional intelligence
- Ability to sense the emotion behind something as well as see the facts – therefore make decisions on both factual and emotional levels
- Patience and tolerance
- Ability to forgive and let go
- Quiet drive, stamina and courage
- Ability to multi task therefore being able to think about, understand and action different points with ease
- Ability to release own emotions to relieve tension and break stress often through crying. As well as breaking the tension in a situation.
- Happy to be out of the limelight and just get on with the job
In this list I am not saying that men do not have some of these characteristics, I am saying that these characteristics are more common in women in general, but particularly in female leaders.
What does this all mean? Are we moving into a time when female leadership is more appropriate for the challenges we face in today’s world – starvation, homelessness, loneliness, escalation in chronic disease, environmental damage on a huge scale, greed by the few who want to monopolize the many, to name but a few?
I don’t know the answer to this, but I do know the questions: How much longer can we, as human beings go on living in an environment that we are determined to destroy, removing the right to heritage for generations to come?
How long can we continue to ignore, flush over, minimize the impacts of large industrial farming whether it be fishing, dairy, crop or animal farming on human health, not to mention the pain caused to the animals themselves and the impact on waterways, air and the earth?
How long can we go on not listening to, or covering up the impact of processing on our foods, whether additives or nutrients removed to create something that is so far from what nature intended it gives no nutritious value and creates a build up of toxins leading to escalation in chronic disease, obesity and stress which we see in most of the English speaking world, with other countries fast behind once they adopt a Western diet?
How much longer are we going to ignore the greed of large corporations that only have one goal in mind, lack integrity and do not care about the negative impact whether on humans, animals, birds, insects or bees?
Perhaps it is female leadership that will turn the ship to become more caring and responsible about how we live, what we live for and what we leave behind? I hope so.