Achieving Gender Equality post-COVID-19

To quote Kamala Harris after her appointment as the newly-elected vice-president of the United States “Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities”. The same could be said of Australia, but it has certainly not been achieved yet.

More and more studies are emerging which stress the importance of inclusive solutions post-pandemic. Solutions which are enriched if there is gender balance in positions of power and influence within our societies.

There is no doubt that women and men working together in unity create the best solutions, leading to collaboration, a blending of visions, and offers a wider perspective in decision making.

A study emerging from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, described male leadership as characterised in terms of power, rationality, pragmatism, and a focus on short-term outcomes.

Female leadership was characterised in terms of consensus building, caring, more open and inclusive and more likely to encourage participation in others.

If these two leadership styles were to work together the outcomes could only be a strengthening of leadership as a more multi-dimensional result would be achieved. Female leadership would bring empathy, compassion, communication, and collaboration which would be embedded into organisations. These have been sadly lacking in many both large and small organisations, and it cannot be achieved until there are equal numbers of women in those leadership roles within organisations.

At present women today still face many barriers which would allow them access to these leadership roles: biases, stereotypes, work-life balance, absences due to motherhood and corporate policies which are not inclusive in recognising the realities of women’s lives.

We have huge problems facing this planet in the 21st century. To quote a Woman One roundtable discussion at the Case Foundation in Washington ‘climate change, health, environment, depletion of global resources, aging population, talent development, social inequalities, telecommuting, new technologies’ to name only some of the challenges this new world leadership must face post-pandemic. We have some glimmer into what is ahead of the leaders in our world.

We should be striving for a leadership model that includes the skills and talent of all in order to tackle these challenges.

Ref: Concordia University research paper, Montreal, Canada and reprinted in The Conversation.

This article has been prepared for information purposes only and is not legal advice. For legal advice regarding your specific circumstances, please contact WR Law directly on (03) 5499 6131 or by email at admin@wrlaw.com.au

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