Women leaders changed the stereotypical perception about themselves in the society and the ways they are contributing to contemporary practice of leadership.
According to both qualitative and quantitative studies, women had limited choices in leadership and came across number of obstacles in their way to leadership in the past. There was a threat of losing the job if they could not look, behave and act like men. However, they began taking the risks to develop their own strategies. Now it is possible to identify five approaches (Grogan and Shakeshaft, 2011, p. 2) and five types of power (p. 93) that characterize women’s educational leadership. Despite the criticism of being ‘caretakers’ and ‘servant leaders’, they describe their work as a ‘mission’ and as a ‘family duty’. Unlike formal leaders, women brought new paradigm to conventional education leadership with their innovative approach. Women proved that their worldviews are different from those of male leaders and that they can be “known, trusted and accepted” (p. 97).
We know leadership is physically, intellectually and emotionally demanding work by itself. It involves complex tasks. Leadership is not attractive option for women particularly, who carry the burden of family and domestic responsibilities. Last year the first time since adopting the independence a woman was appointed the position of the state secretary by the president. The president takes the initiative of attracting women to more serious position. This shows his trust in women’s power. Gone are those days when only men were trusted such strong positions.
The above mentioned is a good example of gender sensitivity and equal status, which I believe, will encourage more women to hold leading positions. It is also important for us, future leaders, seeking administrative responsibility to adopt strategies to lead and manage our male and female colleagues.
Are you ready? Who is the breadwinner of your family? Father? Spouse? or YOU?
Grocan, M., Shakeshaft, C. (2011). Women and educational leadership. San Francisco, USA: Jossey-Bass.