It’s Not A ‘Man’s World’: Women Can Be Successful By Being Themselves


Samantha Harrington wrote in Forbes about one disturbing observation: most materials published to help women succeed in business or professionally are like written manuals on how to play the game straight from a masculine perspective.

While Samantha respects women who have succeeded by mentoring themselves and models more "masculine traits" like the UK's Margaret Thatcher and India's Indira Gandhi, she argues that not all women should be expected to follow suit or that we should teach children to be more like a man in order to succeed.

Masculine traits according to a Stanford study refer to "aggressiveness, assertiveness and confidence" that successful "masculine women" exhibited in the workplace. The study found that masculine women were promoted 1.5 times higher than "feminine women". It also showed that "masculine women" received twice as much promotions as "feminine men".

Ms. Harrington points out that there should be more workplace diversity and there's no reason not to make room for more "feminine men and women" in the C-suite to promote diversity in thought and personality that can support more creative and productive work.

While it is good that "masculine women" are now paving the way, to truly spouse diversity, attaining balance is important. There should also be room for "feminine leadership". Feminine leadership traits according to the Association for Psychological Science includes understanding and tactfulness.

Samantha has learned from personal experience that there isn't much available resources and guidance for women like her who does not fit the "masculine feminine" definition. The system is telling women like her that she is the problem and that her personality type is wrong which shouldn't be the case.

Ms. Harrington asks that managers and colleagues let diversity and different personality types flourish in the workplace by paying attention and giving appropriate tasks and assignments.

Paying attention will allow the team to get to know each other better. Asking questions and listening to conversations is highly encouraged.

Giving the appropriate kind of work to people allows them to function better and become happier at work. Letting people do work that they enjoy fosters a more collaborative and productive team as found in a study from the University of Warwick.

Let women lead successfully in ways they are comfortable with. Let's not point to our differences as sources of the problem but opportunities to grow with diverse knowledge and experiences.

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