Women are born natural leaders, and it’s a fact

Women are born natural leaders, and it’s a fact

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In Kenya, as in most of Africa, women are usually not found in leadership positions. They are generally perceived not to have the skills, knowledge or social status needed to bring about meaningful change in post-conflict environments according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

Women are natural born leaders, it goes without saying that the traditional female role of mother, wife and nurturer enables women to be custodians of cultural, social and religious values. Thus, women are often in a position to transmit beliefs. 

A 2017 study conducted by LeanIn.org and Mckinsey & Company indicates that Women remain underrepresented at every level in corporate America, despite earning more college degrees than men for thirty years and counting.  Women are promoted at a lower rate than men. The biggest gender gap is at the first step up to manager with 18 percent women less likely to be promoted. Furthermore, the intersection of race and gender shapes women’s experiences in meaningful ways. Women of color face more obstacles and a steeper path to leadership, from receiving less support from managers to getting promoted more slowly. This affects how they view the workplace and their opportunities for advancement.

Nearly 50 percent of men think women are well represented in leadership in companies where only one in ten senior leaders is a woman. Some men even feel that gender diversity efforts disadvantage them: 15 percent of men think their gender will make it harder for them to advance. Women are less likely than men to aspire to be a top executive, and those who do are significantly less likely than men to think they’ll become one according to the research.

Women are better at being initiative and clear communication, openness and ability to innovate, social and supportive, and methodological management and goal setting according to a study led by Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen, head of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at the BI Norwegian Business School, which assessed the personality and characteristics of nearly 3,000 managers.

Women are also widely seen to be victims of conflict as opposed to being agents of change which means that female responses to conflict are usually viewed in the context of gender-based violence, forced marriage, and attacks on their human rights. While these are clearly very important issues that must be dealt with and corrected, a core idea of this Action will be to demonstrate that, in addition, women can play a leadership role in peace building, in the prevention of violent extremism and in building a more equitable society. It is clear that women and girls are affected differently by conflict than men and boys and that they react differently to it. The proposed Action will aim at building sustainable female capacity in Kenya by addressing and strengthening the specific role women can play.