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  • Writer's pictureLeverageEQ

Feminine Leadership

International Women’s Day serves as a great opportunity for us to come together and celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women everywhere. As a female-run organisation, this day holds a special place in our heart. There have been many significant changes regarding women in the workplace over the past few years, but one of the shifts we've been particularly pleased to see is the fact that the corporate world has come to increasingly value femininity and ‘feminine leadership traits’ in business. Many of us can remember when leadership was almost entirely associated with masculinity. Traits such as aggression and competitiveness were key and showing ‘softer’ emotions was a no-no. This forced some women to emulate male leadership and deny their femininity to gain the respect of their peers and get ahead in business. Those of you that recall the 1980’s will remember the growth of power dressing for women with huge shoulder padded suit jackets, killer heels and big hair and the use of descriptors such as ‘she’s a real ball breaker’ all being common to strong women in business. But now it seems like people are increasingly recognising that to succeed as a leader in the current climate, it is hugely valuable to embrace traits such as compassion, empathy, collaboration, sensitivity, intuition, cooperation, generosity, and altruism. These are known as feminine traits, but it is important to note that this is not to do with gender, it’s merely that these traits are more commonly found more in women which is often largely to do with cultural constructs. We know from certain studies that men tend to perform better when the focus is on managing tasks, whereas women tend to perform better when the focus is on managing people – especially attending to people’s attitudes, values and motivation. But since AI is expected to automate many of the task-oriented elements of leadership, I expect there to be an even bigger premium for leaders with strong people-skills and higher levels of EQ or Emotional Intelligence. That is because people will always crave human attention, empathy, and validation, which machines will not be able to replicate properly anytime soon. This provides us with a great opportunity to hopefully see more and more women rise up and become strong leaders in the future, whilst feeling able to accept both their masculinity and femininity in business.

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