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An era for female leadership?


Context: This blog explores whether we are likely to see an era where female leadership is preferred over male leadership. Popular belief is that females generally have greater emotional intelligence than males.


My research suggested that the term “Emotional intelligence” or EI became part of popular conversation in 1995. Contrary to popular belief, the weight of evidence from studies suggests that there is little difference in emotional intelligence capability between females and males. Studies do show that females have greater empathy than males, or at least prioritise empathy over other factors in decision making. Some pundits consider emotional intelligence to be more important for todays leaders than IQ.


The advent of online social media has significantly disrupted traditional ways of sharing information and influencing others. Studies suggest that over 70% of the social media influencers are female. Empathy appears to be an important determinant of success as an online influencer.


I decided to compare this to traditional hierarchical structures. I found that global studies found that 70% of health roles are occupied by females, yet only 5% of senior management roles have a female incumbent.


There is a clear and stark contract emerging.


If we consider how the times have changed, there is no more important time in the history of humanity for global action to address our impact on the planet. 130 countries have now signed up to net zero by 2050. To succeed will require enormous influencing effort as the change must take place rapidly at government and personal level. The dynamics of rolling out the vaccines across the world provide a small insight as to the challenge.


Today, after centuries of male dominated leadership, the world is struggling to take decisive action to address degradation of the planet. We have no unifying global leadership model and clearly more empathetic leadership might be more effective.


A quote from Angela Merkel- Climate change knows no borders. It will not stop before the Pacific islands and the whole of the international community here must shoulder a responsibility to bring about a sustainable development.


Discussion:

In this blog I wanted to explore whether we are in an era where female leadership will be preferred. I grabbed some telling statistics on destructive factors in society:


· Domestic violence appears to be getting worse, with a third of women surveyed having experienced domestic violence.

· 90% of domestic violence is perpetrated by men.

· Suicide rates in men are about double that of women.

· 80% of violent crimes are perpetrated by men.

· 70% of terrorist acts are perpetrated by men.


I must admit to being shocked by these damming statistics on the behaviour of at least a significant proportion men. I wondered, How would a world lead predominantly by women be different?


I found a recent quote to gain some perspective on what a predominant female lead world might be like:


From US News - Countries with women who are head of state such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Germany and Slovakia have been internationally recognized for the effectiveness of their response to the pandemic. Pandemic response adds to a body of knowledge that supports having women at the top, leading the leaders, is good for everyone. By A.Bear, R. Agner


I think the world is at a stage where the needs of the ecosystem need to be at least as important as human rights. Apart from energy consumption and the use of fossil fuels, significant ecosystem degradation is occurring due to the rapidly increasing human population (discussed in blog 1).


Experts agree that the education and empowerment of women is a critical component of arresting burgeoning population growth. A sustainable and diverse planet demands a fundamental change in the growth model underpinning the aspirations of every person. These changes require women to play a major leadership role in shaping the response to the ecological crisis. Today’s world needs empathy more than ever.

The dominance of female influencers on social media shows how social media platforms are providing the tools for women leaders to excel. I think influence will surpass money, maybe it already has. If I look at Tesla, it is driven by Elon Musk who is a major influencer. The price to earnings ratio of Tesla is 240, compared to Volkswagen at around 14. This shows the value of influence over straight economics.


Summary:

It may not be obvious for another decade, but I believe it is quite possible that female leadership will not only get to parity with men but become preferred. Many men will struggle with this transition. I predict that the change to more female leaders will see less tolerance of violent, aggressive, and destructive behaviours. More drastic measures to mitigate these crimes could eventuate. It is even possible that a preference for female offspring might occur. It is already possible to choose the sex of a baby with In vitro fertilization (IVF).


In the future, under a more empathetic and influence driven leadership, the proportion of males in the population could decline. In 2101: Spark of Hope female leadership is preferred to take better care of the planet. How this leads to a much a smaller and more managed male population makes for interesting reading.


Some compelling quotes to consider:

“One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.” - Jacinda Ardern


Evolving job needs are empowering women and levelling the playing field. The new service economy doesn’t rely on physical strength but skills that come easily to women, such as determination, attention to detail and measured thinking. The female brain is naturally wired for long-term strategic vision and community building. The survival of the planet requires new thinking and strategies. We are in a pitched battle between the present array of resources and attitudes and the future struggling to be born. Women get it; young people get it. They are creating a whole different mindset. -Leanne Kemp


People are procreating at an unsustainable rate. At some point, we either must decrease population, control reproduction, or find another planet to inhabit like a virus. Even if each family only had one child, which they statistically don’t… that’s not a decrease in population from 2 to 1. It’s an increase due to how long people are living. Exponential growth is a huge issue that is impacting the health of Humans the health of Earth as a whole. Morgan B reflections from Stephen Hawking

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