Women City

Women CEOS Walking the Tightrope for Advancement

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, February 2, 2012
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Bangalore: As per the research of Alice Eagly the concept of men equals women is always at disconnect. Firstly, women are viewed as under qualified for leadership roles and secondly, when women adopt culturally masculine behaviors often required by these roles, they may be viewed as inappropriate or presumptuous. Women are always expected to face tough challenges to carry out their leadership roles. They are expected to be both strong and sensitive in order to move ahead but men only need to be perceived as strong for moving ahead.

These reactions to women leaders reflect gender stereotypes. Earlier research has found that predominantly "communal" qualities, such as being nice or compassionate, are associated with women, and predominantly "agentic" qualities, such as being assertive or competitive, are associated with men. It's because of these qualities men are believed to fit the cultural stereotype of leadership better than women and they also have better access to leadership roles and face fewer challenges to become successful.

Sandra Peterson, present CEO of Bayer Crop Science, shares her views as being the only woman at high-level meetings. She said, The thing that makes it work for women who do this well is that they are very decisive. It's about making the call and being willing to take the risk, and not waffling on decisions.Sandra also shares her experience in dealing with men who often have conflicting expectations of her as a woman operating in a men world. She believes that as a woman you just have to make men realize that you are normal and don't fall in either extremes.

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