One portion of Lesson 12 discusses gender in leadership. Researchers have continuously studies factors that influence gender in leadership, but most of the influences looked at include reasons of gender inequality. For example, Eagly looked at the different leadership styles and Northouse discussed explanations regarding the “pipeline theory”, lack of experience, and lack of suitability. Other factors such as organizational barriers, interpersonal barriers, and personal barriers are also contributor to the minimal number of women found in leadership positions (Neely, 2017). Although these ideas are reasonable and probably play a significant role, as a woman, I must wonder if lack of interest should be added to this list.
I tried to do a google search for articles regarding women and a lack of interest in leadership. My results returned only articles regarding the existing barriers that women must overcome to obtain a leadership role. My thoughts might sound crazy, so let me elaborate.
Work-home conflict, which is often thought to be childcare, domestic work, and similar obligation, has been grouped under personal barriers, which is defined as, “those elements of women’s personal lives that are obstacles” (Neely, 2017). For a woman that has a goal to hold a leadership role, such as a CEO position, these obligations may seem like barriers, but I must disagree that this is the instance for all women. When I became a mother, my priorities changed. I do not view my child as a barrier and I chose motherhood. I, personally, never had the goal of obtaining a major leadership role, but for those who did, their priorities may have changed throughout their career. Which makes me wonder if I am one of many women that feel this way. This does not mean that I do not support other women who have the ambition to obtain such positions. I am just simply pointing out that woman may just not have the interest in these positions that men do.
Neely, B. (2017). Lesson 13: Leadership and Diversity. The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1834747/modules/items/21827958.