Women have historically faced greater obstacles than men in the work-place. Disparities exist between these genders in terms of unequal job opportunities, remuneration and a lack of representation in important decision-making. Right leadership coaching is the need of the hour to induce desirable changes in the corporate culture, making it more perceptive towards women management skills.
Management, as it exists today, is highly action centered and focuses on planning, organizing and control. This perhaps has to do with the way the male mind works i.e. it is action-oriented and directed towards results. Like Anne Morrow Lindbergh, we may ask “Why have we been seduced into abandoning this timeless inner strength of woman (the feminine values) for the temporal outer strength of man (the masculine values)?”
Women managers feel that they have to act, behave and manage as “men” in order to be accepted in the organization. Any signs of “femininity” is frowned upon or seen as not professional, they have to constantly prove themselves in the face of age-old established ways of management. The result is that they do not try to create a separate style of management since they want to be accepted on par with their men colleagues.
So how do women operate differently from men? These are based on emotions, harmony, process orientation and qualitative change. Collective functioning, shared leadership that empowers people and impacts the community, shared responsibility, eliminating gender bias at work and development of human potential are some of the feminine values in management.
It has been observed that in organizations, with a large women work-force, the work environment is more colorful, more aesthetic and more comfortable because women “value” these aspects.
The benefit of having women in management builds an atmosphere that is more caring and nurturing. Women bring different perspectives and approaches to business, resulting in a more inclusive workplace and often better performance for the company. Yet today, only 21 women are at the helm of Fortune 500 Companies.
A balance between men and women leaders can be brought about by promoting executive coaching certification programs in the corporate world. This will lead to harmony between rationality & emotion, target & process. The resulting style of management would be “holistic” and of a new order which is harmonious, whole and progressive.