The reading explains concepts that are beyond the issue of gender. It explains the current challenges that women face after receiving affirmation from the society. It is still a dominant culture to use male traditional male leadership styles to gauge women’s leadership styles. This culture has affected the way women perform in the work place as leaders. Essentially, the culture affects management and leadership, which are beyond the issues of genders. A good number of women have managed to rise the corporate ladder to managerial positions. Women make up to 50 percent of professionals and managers in the work places. However, there is an enormous discrepancy when it comes to the ratio of women and men successfully leading organizations to Fortune 500. Only 15 percent of women leaders and managers feature in the fortune 500 against 85 percent of men managers.
The concepts featured in the reading mainly relate to gender issues (Catalyst, 2007). Nevertheless, from a deeper perspective, they bring out issues that are beyond gender. Women do not need to change how they lead because several studies have supported the fact women make effective leaders. These studies have suggested that women are just as good as I am when it comes to leaders. Therefore, changing their leadership styles because of the effect of gender stereotypic culture is likely not to solve the issue. Organizations are expected to provide the best environment for nurturing talent and bringing out the best out of women. In effect, this will translate to an increase in the number of female led companies in fortune 500.
Stereotypic bias is as common as it has been explained in the reading. I suspect that stereotypic bias is more evident in the workplace than at school. Female students perform well. They have been given the opportunity to enroll in schools and study with ease. This opportunity has been made available in not only developed countries but also developing countries. I tend to believe that the level of stereotypic bias in schools in quite low compared to work places. Female students excel in schools and are selected to pursue the careers of their choice. However, there are certain careers that are predominantly male due to the biological advantages that men have over women. However, any woman has a choice to pursue such careers and the opportunity will be provided. On the other hand, stereotypic bias in the workplace is unique because of the cultural assumptions against women’s ability to deliver when given certain roles. Women generally assumed to be less right in their decisions. They are placed in a dilemma that involves being labeled soft on one hand and being labeled too tough on the other hand. The latter happens when women decide to downplay stereotypic culture in existence within the places of work. Women are only labeled soft when they play along with the stereotypic cultures at work. These are the extreme perceptions that force women at either ends of the spectrum. For instance, women who decide to play along with the gender stereotypes tend to involve many people in their activities. They form strong teams to achieve tasks. However, women labeled as too tough have a tendency to do tasks on their own in order to get self-recognition.
One cannot provide an ultimate solution to the situation, because some research would allude to other factors not mentioned in the reading as contributors to gender related stereotypic bias. Moreover, the issue of gender has many faces that keep on changing with time. The challenges faced today may not be the same challenges faced five decades to come. However, for the sake of providing immediate remedy to the situation, there certain critical pointers that organizations have to take note of. Employees need to understand the possible impact of gender stereotypic culture. They need to understand how it negatively influences the outcome of women leaders and managers. As a result, the awareness creation will set the necessary direction for change. People in my workplace will begin to avoid making insinuations that depict men as default leaders.
Double Bind Phenomenon at Play and individual experiences
The double bind phenomenon has been at play in families as well. Growing up, I used to see my mom forced to get a job in order to supplement the family income. If she failed to get a job, there was a lot of pressure on her to pursue her career. At the same time, she had to handle family affairs. If things fail to work out at home, she the blame was on her. The argument was always that the chaos in the family was because of mothers not giving enough attention to their affairs. I have seen many women go the extra mile in order to overcome these barriers. In order to avoid getting doomed, women normally step out into leadership positions. However, their biggest challenge is ensuring that everyone accepts them.
Catalyst (2007). The Double-Bind Dilemma for Women in Leadership: Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t. New York: Catalyst