Although it is known it has still proven to be a

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Although it is known, it has still proven to be a tough challenge to overcome. In the past, men were thought of as the sole gender possessing the right qualities to lead a group of people, but women are being seen for their valuable traits that can be brought to leadership as well. Studies have shown that women are more supportive in employee development, are seen as more honest and ethical, and these positive qualities have a positive impact on business. Instead of encouraging women to build on those qualities and adopt more leadership-like traits such as decisiveness and confidence, men were coached to be more caring, communicative and collaborative (Sindel & Shamberger 2016).
With the effectiveness vs. likeability problem, society doesn’t typically allow a woman to be both effective and well-liked; it’s typically one or the other. Women who attempt the same behaviors men do to push employees toward success are typically not seen as very likeable. Because of this, some women feel that they have to choose between the two. And even when women do take on those male behaviors in order to be more effective as a leader, they are still not viewed as competent. Whatever choice women make, they still receive criticism, and although this conversation isn’t a new one and the problem is obvious, there is still not a clear solution (Sindel & Shamberger, 2016). I do think that this problem can be overcome by the right leaders. It’s important to remember that just because someone is in a leadership role does not necessarily mean that they possess the qualities that are generally attributed to good leadership. Some of the most obvious are vision, passion, great communication, etc., but some that aren’t a commonly present are transparency, emotional intelligence, empowerment, empathy, trust, integrity and accountability. Any person, male or female, has the ability to adopt any one of these qualities. Sindell and Shamberger (2016) made the point that the conversation we keep having needs to move away from gender, and we need to begin thinking about how to develop well-balanced leaders. This includes what all leaders can do to be more effective, whether they are a man or a woman. It is not a simple fix where we just tell women to begin displaying those more masculine traits. There are so many ways to be a competent leader and understanding when to act in a way that is generally considered masculine or generally considered feminine will help create effectiveness. We must change our own behaviors. Not to be too cliché, be we must be the change we want to see in the world, and it starts by displaying the correct behaviors. Reference Sindel, T. & Shamberger, S. (2016). Beyond Gender: Changing the Leadership Conversation. People & Strategy, 39 (3), 32-35. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I work in a male-dominated industry, and I am one of only a few women in a leadership role in my firm. I faced this same dilemma at the start. I wanted to badly to be liked and be accepted into the “boys club” that I felt like I had to

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