What are Women in Power?
Women in power are women in politics, business, science, academia, management and other top positions in the hierarchy of organizations and communities that give them command, responsibility and influence. Women have increasingly been afforded the opportunity to rise in power and rank over the years, due to changing legislation allowing them to gain more rights and affirm their presence in such positions.
In addition to the legislative framework, culture plays a great role in allowing women to be in power positions. The increase in gender equality movements all around the world have been challenging traditional images of women as good for procreation and nurturing roles alone.
The more women occupy power of positions, the more it becomes a normal reality.
To women, it inspires them, allows them to dream bigger and achieve greater things.
It gives them faith and courage that anything is possible when one is ready to fight for what she wants. Narratives can directly influence others’ course of action in their career.
To men, it helps them no longer perceive women as dominated but rather powerful agents of change in the society.
For women to be normalized in power positions, there is a need to end stereotypes and gender bias, there is a need to change men’s perception about women’s capabilities or interests.
As long as women’s output is undermined and questioned, they will not receive the credibility their work deserves.
Let us consider Leadership roles for example, with women in leadership positions, we pave the way for acceptance of women and the ability of men receiving directives from women without question is a strong indicator of progress.
In many cultures, women are believed to lack leadership qualities such as assertiveness, decisiveness or authority. Such norms unconsciously discourage many women and let men impose themselves in many fields. Such preconceptions are wrong for two reasons.
First, which is what this article is trying to demonstrate, is that there are no such qualities defined by gender at birth. The only obstacle that is still stopping many women from being in power positions and from men to accepting them are cultural misconceptions that normalize inaccurate stereotypes.
Second, when talking about leadership, the general understanding is to be reviewed. Daniel Goleman (2000) is one of the authors explaining the different styles of leadership that exist, and the situations in which they are the most appropriate. Some contexts do not need authoritarian leadership styles, which are the ones one thinks about when missaying that men are better at holding leadership positions.
On the contrary, many companies today recognize the importance of values and qualities a leader should hold, such as empathy, reassurance, ability to delegate or gratitude. Taking this into account, can we then still speak about men being better leaders?
We highly recommend that we keep speaking about women’s capacities, successful stories and achievements, because the more we speak about it and act upon it the more it becomes normal and unquestionable. Speaking about it is one way to truly normalize women in power, So, when you come across a successful story or have one of your own, act on it, own it and show support.
That way, we will be able to live in societies where it is not shocking or surprising for a woman to hold certain leadership positions that once seemed unthinkable.
A woman’s success should be no surprise. We have to work together to switch mindsets so that such stories are no longer exceptions. It is always good to celebrate one’s success story, but most importantly it is good when we celebrate successes regardless of gender.
Help us normalize the presence of women in power positions by joining us and sharing powerful stories around women. Be ready to correct misconceptions about women, at work or at home.
Woman, You Are at the forefront of things!