Women executives have often been portrayed in movies as being fearless, fierce, but also alone. However, this–among many others–has always been a common misconception about women leaders running a company or business. Here are just some of the most common misconceptions about women and leadership and the truth behind them.
1. Having kids and raising them get in the way of being a top executive
People think that being in a senior leadership role required giving up a lot of family time. Maybe it’s the reason women executives are portrayed as single and alone in movies. However, in reality, it’s actually the opposite. Those who rise to senior leadership roles are the ones who have a firm control of their schedules and those who have learned how to find the balance between work and family time. After all, it takes a strong set of management skills to be able to manage two demanding aspects of life properly.
2. Women aren’t as assertive as men when it comes to leadership style
People often associate assertiveness to confidence, but the two aren’t always mutually inclusive. Compared to men in senior leadership positions, women tend to be more grounded as they are more mindful of the risks take these more into consideration before doing action plans. While this usually gets interpreted as lacking confidence, there is no definitive research that shows this is enough basis to conclude that this is a conclusive basis for men and women with regard to their career moves.
3. Women executives don’t help with the career development of fellow women under them
This is another misconception that is based on the stereotype that exists but has no conclusive basis to be considered as actual fact. But statistics show that women leaders actually tap into their company’s talent pool to not only source women talents but a gender-diverse set of individuals to fill the needed roles.
4. Women aren’t interested in pursuing senior leadership positions
In the U.K., studies show that men advance four times more in their career than their female counterparts. However, this doesn’t always translate to women not aspiring to advance in their chosen career or become an executive.
In the end, misconceptions shouldn’t define what women can or cannot do. After all, professionals, regardless of gender, are perfectly capable and free to define the parameters that matter to them with regard to their own success in their career.
Roch Lazarte is a copywriter, social media strategist, spoken word poet, and teacher. On a good day, she writes features on business and management. On a bad day, she writes poetry.