Myths and Truths About Women Leaders

Think Managers, Think Men; Think Leaders, Think Women

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“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” ―Maya Angelou

Myths are major challenges globally. They are unrealities that hold the people back. They create wrong assumptions leading to wrong conclusions. They adversely affect society. Hence, they must be debunked with facts and figures. When you look at women and women leaders, there are several myths that prevent them from contributing their best. They prevent them from achieving amazing success. There are several myths associated with women and women leaders. Here are some myths with truths about them.

Myth #1: Women are not ambitious.

Truth: Women are equally ambitious like men but they are more relationship-oriented, unlike men who are more task-oriented. Women care for their family and children. Hence, it is improper to label them as non-ambitious.

Myth #2: Advancement of women leaders is a threat for men leaders.

Truth: Usually men often compete with men while advancing their careers. With the entry of women leaders, men must compete with men and women while advancing their careers. There is no change in competition except gender. There is nothing to be concerned when men are strong in their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Myth #3: All men are against women empowerment.

Truth: No. Only a few men are against women empowerment who cannot digest the fact that women should be treated equally to men in all aspects. It takes time for them to empathize and understand to respect women and empower them finally. Additionally, there are some men who encourage women empowerment and advocate gender equality globally #HeForShe.

Myth #4: Women cannot execute tasks effectively.

Truth: The truth is that women can execute tasks effectively and can also multitask, unlike men who can execute one task at a time effectively.

Myth #5: Women cannot lead.

Truth: Leadership is not gender related. Anyone one can lead irrespective of their community, creed, caste, color, and gender.

Myth #6: Women are unsuitable to occupy senior positions.

Truth: Women are equal to men and can occupy all positions and handle issues with a cool demeanor. When you look at Indra Nooyi she proved as a successful CEO for PepsiCo for many years.

Myth #7: Women are unfit for some military roles and operations.

Truth: Although women have certain biological health issues, they can contribute the way men contribute. Hence, gender is not an excuse to deny them equal opportunities to serve in the military.  

Myth #8: Women burst under pressure.

Truth: In fact, women can work under pressure better than men. Men often burst when they are under pressure whereas women remain calm and composed under pressure. Additionally, women explore ideas rather than to brood over issues, unlike men.

Myth #9: Women cannot manage money.

Truth: It is only a perception that women spend money carelessly on shopping. But they are more cautious while spending money. They look for value for their money and are better investors than men. Men are often emotional while investing while women are analytical while investing money.

Myth #10: Women are part of the problem.  

Truth: In fact, women are part of the solution. When men create problems women create solutions to overcome them.

Myth #11: Women must remain at home.

Truth: That was the philosophy in the Stone Age, not now. Women must come out of their homes to lead and provide better directions to societies. No society can grow without the support of women. In fact, behind the success of every man, there is a woman. It is obvious that women lead at the home. Imagine the kind of world we would create when women come out and lead outside equally with men.

There must be a change in the mindset of the men about women and women leaders. Men must change their attitude and perceptions toward women. They must understand the ground realities and understand the advantages of encouraging women to lead in all fronts to build a better world. To conclude, debunk the myths to empower women and ensure the participation of women to create gender equality globally and build a prosperous world.

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Note: This article is an adapted excerpt from my award-winning book, “Strategies to Build Women Leaders Globally: Think Managers, Think Men; Think Leaders, Think Women.”

Life is great!

Professor M.S. Rao

Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India


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