Before I get slammed by my male counterparts, I am in no way saying that men do not make great leaders. The two issues are not mutually exclusive.

However, women and men do things very differently. They have different qualities and different ways of thinking. And with the attributes women possess, the leadership role can be done spectacularly well. 

Men, especially those from a matriarchal household where the mother’s only job was to bring up children and keep house, will have a more boisterous style of leadership. They will be loud and vocal and are rather good at delegating. It is probably because they have been prepared and encouraged all their lives to be king of the castle, whether they have the skill or not. But because they are male, it is expected of them to hold positions of power to become the main bread-winner. And many of these men can be very good leaders. However, in my experience these kind of men are bosses, not leaders. But at the end of the day, they get the job done and probably get the job done well.

Women, on the other hand from when they are girls are trained to be work horses. We are given dolls and stuffed animals to take care of, we are told to take care of our younger siblings and we are given a whole lot of responsibility from the moment we are able. Some of us do it well, some of us do not. Be we do it anyway. And since we are thrown in at the deep-end from when we are young, we often have no choice but to swim and do our best to keep our heads above the water. 

It is because I believe that women have a natural ability to prioritise. I believe a huge part of being a democratic leader is knowing and guaging what is important, especially in the field of nursing. 

Some points as to why I believe women make fantastic leaders:

1) It was never expected of us. When I got promoted to deputy nursing officer, many people were surprised due to my kind nature and how I never was really vocal about wishing to climb up the ladder. To be honest, I was a little surprised myself.

2) We see everything. Due to empathy and emotional intelligence, we know how not to take things at face value. If someone is not performing well, we do not just slam them, we see why. Men can do this as well. But after a while most men get fed up of the situation and take on an ‘enough is enough’ attitude whereas women will probably have more patience to wait out someone else’s bad time.

3) We are intuitive. This is something I personally am very self aware of. I do not know if this is the nurse in me or the woman in me: I can often smell out a problem before it happens and make sure it does not happen. 

4) Ego is not an issue. Women can be very bitchy with each other and catty. But we know how to squash those feelings and work together and get a job done. I have seen male bosses butting heads and one-upping each other. It is not good for the workplace. Women between themselves can have problems but not like that. 

I remember watching The Little Mermaid when it first came out, I think it was around 1989 and I was about five. I remember being horrified how Ariel gave up her voice, her most powerful organ, with only just a little hesitation and thought. I actually turned to my mum and said ‘I would not have done that.’ And my mum who is an extremely educated woman said ‘Yes, I think I taught you better.’

I remember when I told my grandmother that I had a steady boyfriend. I was in my final year of nursing.

Grandma: so you like this boyfriend?

Me: yes, I do.

Grandma: will you get engaged?

Me: it’s looking that way…

Grandma: and then you’ll get married?

Me: if all goes well, I suppose so…

Grandma: and then you’ll quit your job.

HELL NO! 

The funny thing is, unlike her other bits of conversation, that was not a question. It was an assumption. 

I think however that the idea of a female leader is becoming more of a norm nowadays and less of a shocker. Due to the supposed roles we are born to fill, a woman with a high powered job was not considered as something that could feasibly happen. But I am happy to say that now things are different. Even in pop culture, the series Suits…the head of the law firm is a strong black woman who is not a bitch. In season one, Harvey who is an obvious alpha-male is her subordinate. The character of Donna is also of a strong woman and the queen of the multi-task. This goes to show that women are no longer playing secondary roles in their own lives. 

We are the stars.

   
 

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