Women as Leaders – ll

Cont… Even though the business world is changing, stereotypes are still so prevalent that you have to straddle some double standards if you want to succeed in today’s business world if you’re a woman.

Rosin offers some valuable tips in this regard. First of all, many women are grateful to get superior positions, so grateful that they don’t negotiate for themselves. Economist Linda Babcock tells Rosin that in one survey, only seven percent of recent women graduates negotiated their starting salaries while 57 percent of male graduates did.

Women in business

Secondly, how women negotiate matters. NYU and Harvard Kennedy researchers constructed a script about salary negotiation and had both male and female participants read the script. Audience participants felt that the male readings were dominant and strong while female actors, reading the very same words, came across as pushy and unpleasant. The women were less likely to get the raises when the audience participants voted.

Rosin explains that you can get past this unfair disparity by making use of your feminine attributes. This doesn’t mean flirtation–it means marrying what you need with what is better for others or the company. This caring and protective kind of negotiation, when it seems as if you’re not simply negotiating for yourself but others too, is most impactful and effective.

Women have to care more about their appearance than men do too. You have to come across as put together and confident. This means that you quell any habits that betray nervousness or low self-esteem and that you don’t look as if your kids kept you from ironing your outfit that morning. Unfortunately, you still have to come across as more capable of handling all aspects of your life than men do.

Stereotypes do change slowly but they are changing. The emotionally intelligent leader, the one with empathy, integrity and vision is the one the business world needs today and women are naturally more inclined to possess these qualities and skills.

Founder of Bidiversity.com Christina Loannidis says that things aren’t really so different for women in the UAE. Arab women dominate in the government sector but have a bit more difficulty moving into leadership positions in the business sector.

Globalization is straining the traditional business model in the UAE and women will need influencing and negotiating skills to help bridge the change. They’ll also need training to manage conflict and must be even more sensitive than their western counterparts to traditional gender roles in their culture.

Loannidis points out that the Arab world will begin paying attention to accumulating research that finds that companies with women leaders generate more ideas and more profit. Research done by Bidiversity.com estimates that companies can pay as much as $178 million over 10 years to replace women that leave because they are tired of being repressed at traditional business places.

Loannidis also points out that having a woman’s perspective can greatly help businesses to target women consumers and create marketing plans that are effective. Women are responsible for 75 percent of purchasing decisions today and the female market will be worth about $30 trillion by 2020.

Lannidis advises Emirati women to develop confidence, to take pride in their perspectives and different ideas, to expound on their networking ability and to find and build relationships with mentors. The best thing that women in leadership roles can do is to act as role models for other women. If you are a woman today, it is your responsibility to pull the business world into its sustainable future.

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