Paulette Chaffee Highlights Why Women Make Good Leaders

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poster stating in the future there will be no female leaders, there will be just leaders quoting Shery Sandberg

“Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good,” said author and educator Joanne Ciulla.

Paulette Chaffee, educator, attorney, and the current Ambassador for Orange County’s 4th District, often refers to this quote when faced with the question, “Why do women make good leaders?”

Women have had to fight against a wave of negative stereotypes discrediting women as leaders in the workplace. However, history and various studies reflect that women often exemplify better modern leadership qualities than men. Here, Chaffee discusses women in leadership and why women are more than capable of being great leaders.

The Definition of an Effective Leader

A Zenger Folkman study demonstrated that women leaders are more effective than male leaders by three percent when looking at the entirety of a leadership role. Female leaders utilize transformational leadership, building professional relationships with partners and colleagues on foundations of encouragement, care, and inspiration.

A meta-analytic review also showed that women show less narcissistic characteristics and tendencies in a leadership position than men. Less narcissism in a leadership position means more attention to the needs of others in an organization.

Why We Need More Women Leaders

According to Natural HR, six-point-four percent of women hold the CEO position on the Fortune 500 list in the United States, which is a historical high. However, too many women still believe that their gender is a barrier to professional advancement, and the number of leadership roles women take reflects the reality of this lingering thought. When considering the ratio of men to women in leadership positions, there continues to be a drastic imbalance.

McKinsey & Company assisted in the release of the 2018 Women in the Workplace report that showed a decrease in percentage as role levels increased. The report showed that thirty-eight percent of women held jobs as managers. Thirty-four percent worked in director and senior management roles. Only twenty-nine percent of women were vice presidents, twenty-three percent were senior vice presidents, and just twenty-two percent held jobs as C-suite executives. When analyzing the number of women in entry-level roles, women made up forty-eight percent of employees.

The report also revealed the negative experiences women encounter that deter them from pursuing career advancements. For example, an astonishing sixty-four percent of women were confronted with microaggressions in the workplace. Thirty-five percent of women working full-time in the corporate world reported being sexually harassed.

The good news is that progress has been demonstrated when comparing the 2018 report to the 2021 Women in the Workplace report. The percentages of women taking on higher-level jobs increased across the board. Women in manager roles increased to forty-one percent, and director and senior manager positions increased to thirty-five percent. Thirty percent of women worked as vice presidents, and women in senior vice president seats increased to twenty-seven percent. In addition, twenty-four percent of women were C-suite executives.

The future for female leaders is hopeful as much as it is necessary. Even so, women deal with a “broken rung” when leveling up to a role beyond entry-level, leaving eighty-six women being promoted per every one-hundred men. Decreasing obstacles that women are still running into will help develop better and more diverse workplace environments, which will help ensure the progression of women leaders continues.

About Paulette Chaffee

Paulette Chaffee is an educator, children’s advocate, grants facilitator, lawyer, and member of various non-profit boards. She obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Redlands in Communicative Disorders and a California Lifetime Teaching Credential. She is currently the Ambassador for Orange County 4th District and a board member of All the Arts for All the Kids.

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