Aletta's blog

Life to paper: Musings to inspire (blog #1)

Hi, I am Aletta D’cruz and I come from India. Back home, I worked as a Business Journalist for three years, before I decided to pursue my education further. The Erasmus Mundus Masters degree in Journalism, Media and Globalisation brought me to this beautiful city of Amsterdam, which I am looking forward to make my home. Some research into success stories from women in The Netherlands is what introduced me to TopFem and here I am now, hoping to help build their network and grow with them. I will also be sharing with you a few of my thoughts, along with tips and stories from interesting women I meet in my daily life via my blog Life to Paper: Musings to Inspire.
Read here my first blog about “Do Gender Stereotypes Make Women Better Leaders?”!

Do Gender Stereotypes Make Women Better Leaders?

Ambition, leadership and women – These three words are coming together more often today. While it was always a known fact that women make good leaders, both in their personal and professional life, it hasn’t been till recently that they are finally getting their due.

Ever since I started my career as a journalist, I noticed that I did things differently than most people around me; namely the men that I worked with. Soon, I was made responsible for training every new person that joined my team and that is when this difference in qualities hit me the most. It got me thinking whether men and women donned their leadership roles differently, based mainly on their gender. I started digging deeper and here is some of what I found in conversation with some of the leading women I have known:

1. Women leaders are considered to be more proactive in their approach. They tend to have a natural instinct to learn new things and hence are always growing. They are never shy of asking questions or voicing their opinions, especially when they are in a position to be heard.

2. Women tend to adapt to different kind of situations better than most men. They can be flexible in their thinking and are adept at multi tasking, which always makes them very efficient.

3. Women tend to be more inclusive in nature, especially when they have a team to lead. Understanding and nurturing come to them more often than most and this is always reflected in their work. Solving problems and making decisions is always a team effort, where they involve their colleagues in every step of the process.

4. Creating an identity and earning respect are two factors that really matter when it comes to women in their professional playgrounds. They are always the face of healthy competition within the workspace, which makes them more approachable.

5. Women are passion driven and this is usually reflected in their work too. When a woman makes something she loves her career, she puts her heart and soul into it, creating something that is most likely to see success in the end.

While most of these sound very stereotypical and biased based on gender, they are real for most women. As a business journalist, I have met a number of people who have made a name for themselves and it has been an area of interest to see how women and men describe themselves as leaders. My interactions have taught me that gender stereotypes work well when they are used in the professional arena, especially because all they ever say about us women is: We can handle anything!

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