Why Women are Better Servant Leaders than Men
Evidence grows that women tend to become better leaders than men. However, women face a long journey in their march for equality.
Over 168 years ago the United States received its first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell. Twenty-nine colleges turned down her applications for medical school. She was ridiculed and told it “Wasn’t women’s work”. But she did not quit. Finally, Hobart College accepted her. almost on a whim. The faculty and Dean really did not know how to respond to her. So, thinking she had no chance, they said they would admit her if 100% of the 150 male students voted yes. They voted unanimously to accept her. She proved that women are better than they thought.
After completing her degree, Elizabeth continued her studies in Europe. Just like in America, discrimination rose strongly against her. She was allowed to be enrolled in La Maternité clinic/hospital as a student midwife, but not accredited as a physician. She did gain much additional medical experience. Eventually returning to America, she started writing and lecturing to make her way. She created the Blackwell Sisters that helped in the Civil War. Blackwell steadfastly dealt with all obstacles and went on to establish hospitals in New York and London. While engaged in medicine she championed many social reforms in the US and Europe.
Inequalities for Women in Today’s Workplace
Women in America, and around the world for that matter, still face great inequalities in the workplace, as identified in a recent Chicago Tribune article. For example:
- Women are rated lower in their competence by U.S. decision makers (mostly white males).
- Pay is one third less than males in the same job, over a lifetime.
- Lack of recognition or credit.
- Men are promoted more on potential, women on performance.
- Few second chances.
Worldwide discrimination and inferior treatment haunt women of all nationalities. Opportunities are much fewer compared to men. Incredibly, in 2017, men in most nationalities still believe that they are superior to women.
Women are Better in Leadership Roles
Most of the women that I have engaged through LinkedIn or consulting projects continually exhibit the qualities of Elizabeth Blackwell. They like her demonstrate their leadership skills by breaking the glass ceiling in many industries today. Businesses, this country, and the world desperately need better leaders. In their highly disengaged state, employees are begging for transformational and servant leaders. Research suggests compelling evidence that many women tend to adopt more effective leadership approaches and styles-servanthood-than men. Consequently, women tend to learn more and work harder to earn the role. As a result, women are better leaders than men.
According to personality profiler Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, men tend to narcissism and hubris which often leads to serious leadership mistakes and failure. Studies show that men tend to obtain more leadership roles because confidence is confused for competence.
The Next Revolution in Leadership Thought
Elizabeth Blackwell confronted discrimination in a time that was even more male-dominated. She forged ahead and said, “My mind is fully made up. I have not the slightest hesitation on the subject; the thorough study of medicine, I am quite resolved to go through with. The horrors and disgusts I have no doubt of vanquishing. I have overcome stronger distastes than any that now remain and feel fully equal to the contest. As to the opinion of people, I do not care one straw personally; though I take so many pains, as a matter of policy, to propitiate it, and shall always strive to do so; for I see continually how the highest good is eclipsed by the violent or disagreeable forms which contain it.”
I believe that the next great advance in leadership involves the power of people and how to serve. I also believe that women drive this movement. What do you think?
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