The Impact of Women in the Workplace
If you are a woman, you are in your own right a leader. Raise your head and be proud because you are paving your way in an environment dominated by men.
Women in the olden days were commonly referred to as homemakers, housewives, or what we colloquially call Ilaw ng Tahanan. With the emergence of multiple movements and awareness drives that aim towards gender equality and acknowledgment of different sexes, women of the present have more freedom in expressing themselves and being involved in careers previously dominated by men.
Women and Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence, as defined in summary by Mayer and Salovey in 1997, is the ability to perceive, generate, understand, and regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth. This is the capacity of each individual to handle emotions and empathize with others. A multitude of books and researches were published focusing on Emotional Intelligence, or EI, and its effects in different settings and aspects, including leadership. What is interesting to note is that Emotional Intelligence is not gender-based or gender-biased. Multiple types of research have been conducted debunking that women are more emotionally intelligent than men. These researches were conducted both in the academe and the corporate world and the results would always indicate that there is no significance in the EI score between men and women. What is significantly different between the two are the EI components where they are strong. For example, females scored higher in empathy and interpersonal skills, while men scored higher in controlling emotions and assertiveness.
The reasons why women are perceived to be more emotional or have a higher EI are because women are more socially geared to display emotions and read emotions from others.
Women as leaders
Because women are commonly perceived to be emotional, people believe that this is a disadvantage in the workplace, especially if the leader is a woman. As women are naturally emotional, their judgment and decisions are perceived to be clouded and biased, and they are not as strong in asserting what needs to be done for their team or business. However what most people don’t know is that based on the key elements that American psychologist Daniel Goleman had popularized, women are organically geared to be stronger in these areas. The key elements, namely, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills, women are more resilient on self-awareness, empathy, and social skills. These key elements are historically and statistically important for any leader to acquire and balance as these can cover all aspects of being a leader: understanding strengths and weaknesses, decision-making, continuous drive towards their goals, interpersonal skills, communication, etc.
Thus, having a woman as a colleague or leader is not a drawback but more of a benefit to the organization she belongs to. She is inclined to be more emotionally well-rounded, understands how to deal with teammates, and practices self-restraint in dealing with decisions and situations. With this, gender stereotyping in leadership shall no longer exist.