When I first started writing a piece on leadership for this page I also started looking for images to accompany it. Oh my goodness – what a phenomenally male centric exercise that was!
I searched for “leadership” and “leaders” on a number of stock photo sites (and even on Google images) and I didn’t find a single site where women featured in more than 15% of the photos (yes I counted). On one site there were actually more images of birds than women – yup, ducks are apparently well known for their leadership ability. Where women did feature in photographs and clip-art they were invariably slim, white, dressed in dark suits and standing in very masculine poses (feet apart, hands on hips etc.).
Well, I have abandoned my original blog and now I want to write a different one instead but I will need your help.
I believe that women can make phenomenal leaders without compromising on what it means to be a woman. I know what makes a great leader, I have been training and coaching leaders for over 20 years and I have met some amazing (and not so amazing) male and female leaders across a range of sectors. But, just for now, I am very interested in what you think makes a great female leader. Of course we are generalising here but:
What do women leaders do every bit as well as men? What extra qualities do women bring to the mix that men don’t? Are there any aspects of leadership that you think women are less good at?
Please share your ideas, your views and your stories about great women leaders from any walk of life. You can use the comments space below or, if you are shy, feel free to direct message me. I promise to treat your words with respect and to turn them into a blog article (or 2) where we can all celebrate the wonderful diversity and effectiveness of women in leadership.
And if you are a photographer, get clicking! Stock photo sites need you! But, just for now, I went with the duck.