Among the fresh solutions we all hope will arise post COVID-19, the assertion of female leadership to bring the entire planet back into balance should be at the top of the list.
Is the wave of evidence and logic starting to take hold?
In June of 2019, Harvard Business Review updated its seven-year-old study on women’s leadership. Women were still found (by their male and female peers) to be 84% more effective than men in all the competencies measured. This included taking initiative, resilience, self-development, driving for results, displaying high integrity and honesty, developing others, inspiring and motivating others, leading boldly, championing change, establishing stretch goals, and practicing collaboration and teamwork.
While this knowledge has been around for a while, now, during a time of volatile change and global crisis, these qualities stand out. Who is excelling in leadership? Women are. No surprise at all.
“In a Crisis, True Leaders Stand Out,” The New York Times wrote on April 30, 2020. “The master class on how to respond belongs to Jacinda Ardern, the 39-year-old prime minister of New Zealand. On March 21, when New Zealand still had only 52 confirmed cases, she told her fellow citizens what guidelines the government would follow in ramping up its response. Her message was clear and it was compassionate: “Please be strong, be kind and united against Covidd-19.” Her motto was –Go fast and go hard.
The New York Times article went on to state, “Other examples of countries where swift and decisive action helped allay the impact of the disease and unite the nation range from South Korea and Taiwan in Asia to Germany, Greece and Iceland in Europe. Women, a minority among the national leaders of the world, emerged among the most effective and reassuring of them.”
No surprise, just a surprise that it took a global pandemic for female leadership to show up in the radar screen.
The fact that women make great leaders is repeatedly asserted. In Business News Daily, 17 executive women provided reasons why women are meant to lead. In addition to the points listed above, there were additional insights. “They check their egos: Ego so often gets in the way of good decision making in the C-suite. Women exhibit ego differently and they are good at decision-making with the ego held in check. This is a key advantage in working with boards of directors, partners and customers.” Joan Wrabetz, CTO, Quali.
OR, “They make their jobs look effortless: Women are pragmatic, resilient and usually able to maneuver tricky situations with grace…They look at the world with bravery and are able to piece together the world around them like a complex puzzle.” – Jody Clower, founder and CEO, Nestiny
Yes, the present time is bearing this out.
A recent article in Forbes Women asked the question, “Why Do Women Make Such Good Leaders during Covid-19?” Answer: They are “In the room” where change happens. Simple. If women are not in the room – pushed out and under-promoted due to dusty old bias, then leadership takes on the same leaky, dusty quality and goes down the tubes.
It all adds up.
As I write in “Women, Meditation, and Power,” women are built to lead. Power is change, fluidity, and movement, and women express and embody that. The more challenging the situation, the better a female leader will be at handling it for the good of the people she serves.
Among the fresh perspectives we all hope will arise post COVID-19, the assertion of female leadership to bring the entire planet back into balance should be at the top of the list.