The Word That's Hurting Female Leaders


It's often said that actions speak louder than words, but words are often a type of action: how we define and talk about ourselves and others. So we were pleased to see Fortune's MPW Insider network take on "bossy" women (also known as women demonstrating decisiveness, authority, and other leadership qualities). Women overcome the label every day, but it would be wonderful to see the double standard disappear altogether. Read more below, and click through for the full story. - There are many barriers to female leadership: gender inequality, lack of access to necessary education, issues with work-life balance, etc. Yet, throughout my career, I have seen women overcome these barriers. I know women who care for their large families while also leading successful businesses; women who have not had the chance to attend university but have still climbed to the top of the corporate ladder. I also know women who have had the courage to assert themselves and their ideas in male-dominated spaces. How did they do it? It was the strength of their opinions, courage, desire to achieve equality, ambitions, and so much more. So, what if at the end of the day the real barrier was… ourselves?

Recently, I’ve been teaching women that in order to become a leader, performance is critical. But there is more to it than that: in order to be a successful leader, you need to engage, provide direction, and show self-confidence. Unfortunately, research has shown that these leadership attributes are positively correlated with likability for men and negativity for women. In other words, a man will likely come across as “decisive,” while a woman will be seen as “bossy”.

Read the rest here.