Need Leadership? Choose Women!

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It’s A Best-Kept Secret


… Among Men.


     From my early days in Madison Avenue’s “Top 10” ad agencies, where I worked for the industry’s two most famous and successful leading ladies, to active roles in women’s rights marches, to a professorship career which led me to ignite a campus women’s program,  followed by group counseling facilitator days with a female partner, I learned I was barely able to hold a candle to the feminine wiles of business leadership.

     I moved into serial-entrepreneur pursuits with a bevy of talented female business associates (the most important and influential of these being Kathy, whom I married 23 years ago), I have always preferred working with women. I can’t speak for many product industries, but to my way of thinking, women have always been smarter about all the things one needs to be smart about in running a service business and dealing with clients.

     And TODAY, I can finally say to all those smirking owners, investors, and VCs who’ve always equated quarterbacks, fighter pilots, and five-star generals with required business leader traits and qualities: “See. It’s not just me who thinks women are better business leaders!”

     The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute has just released new findings that predict women entrepreneurs will create close to 6 million new jobs in the U.S. by 2018, more than half the expected new job total. “That’s great,” you say, “but so what? How does that make women better business leaders?”

     Ah, it’s HOW this new job creation tsunami will occur that’s important. Women entrepreneurs are reported in this research study to be “more customer-focused, more likely to incorporate community into their business plans, and more adept at creating opportunities for others,” according to a report of the findings earlier today by Lisa Pateus Viana in the “Small Business” section of FOXBusiness online.

     Viana says these characteristics are “helping women excel in 1) running a business 2) keeping employees driven and productive and 3) building a loyal customer base.” She goes on to say that the research shows “the only things more important to women entrepreneurs than their customers are family and religion,” and proceeds to make a strong case for the values of something few male counterparts strive for: a sense of balance.

     It seems to me that the only ones who disregard the validity of these kinds of study findings are those who have never learned to accept themselves or be able to respect others anyway. So, good riddance to all those stimulus/bailout-dependent corporate and government muckity-mucks who think entrepreneurship is an irritating business nonevent without promise.

     And let’s hear it for the emerging new stronger-sex business leaders! In fact, if we cut them some slack, they may actually create us some millions of new jobs sooner than later! 

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2 comments so far

2 Comments to “Need Leadership? Choose Women!”

  1. Jenon 14 Mar 2010 at 11:04 am

    I’ve seen unconscious gender bias in place on so many occasions that I see this as a much more important issue to tackle than glass ceilings. Why in talent and succession planning meetings do people leaders still discuss a woman’s marital status and whether she has kids (or is likely to have them) as an indication of her flight risk? (yes, it really does happen.) Why are men usually described by their people leaders in these discussions in terms of their competency attributes (the sorts of projects and work he’s undertaken of past), whereas a woman is described to those not familiar with her in terms of her physical attributes (what she looks like). Why do we still assume that leadership roles cannot be performed on flexible terms (when all the technology has long existed for work to be performed and monitored remotely and on flexible terms)? These are all examples of unconscious bias that I’ve seen in play time and time again. They perpetuate the stereotype that leaders are male, that their life revolves around their work and that the old way is the only way. We need to bring examples of bias and stereotypes out into the open and give women the confidence of knowing they’re not alone in experiencing these issues – this will give women the confidence and energy to keep pushing on when they’re faced with such obstacles.

  2. Hal Alpiaron 14 Mar 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Right on, Jen! Thank you for your comment and visit, and especially for bringing more of this important issue to light. I would strongly urge all blog visitors interested in seeing and cultivating more women in business leadership roles to visit Jen (Dalitz) at her site and sign in for a free newsletter. Sphinxx,com is the Australian-based network for women leaders.

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