Helping women be heard & claim their seat at the leadership table
Over the last few days, I’ve been watching all the comments about the Vice-Presidential Debate. Not because I am polling people’s political stance, but rather because I’m curious about the perceptions of how the two candidates performed. I’ve been fascinated by the responses to Kamala Harris.
What I’m seeing looks a lot like gender bias and the fine line women walk when attempting to be assertive. This isn’t a new topic; I’ve seen articles going back to the mid-1980s on the perceived differences in how men and women leaders communicate. What’s is striking to me is that little seems to have changed in the last 25 years.
One description for this is that it is a double-bind for women. Most desirable leadership traits are masculine in nature: confident, bold, assertive, focused, decisive, among others. However, women are expected to be collaborative, empathetic, and compassionate. We have learned a bias that is gender based. Leaders are...