Women’s Leadership: Are women leaders competent or likable? Why can’t they be both?
Robin Hauser’s TED Conferences Talk delves into the issue of bias against women in leadership roles. She highlights the dilemma faced by women in leadership positions, where competence and likability are often at odds with each other. Hauser uncovers the unconscious beliefs and gendered thinking that distort the perception of what makes a good leader.
Bias is an inherent part of our survival instinct, but it’s also unconscious. We often believe that we’re open-minded and unbiased, but we’re limited in our ability to recognize our biases. Women in leadership positions are judged more harshly because of the association of leadership with masculine traits.
Hauser suggests that we need to redefine what it means to be a leader and a woman. We need to disrupt stereotypes and focus on being smart, compassionate, and effective leaders. We need to speak up against gender bias and question comments made about a woman’s appearance or personality. We need to slow down and reconsider our snap judgments.
Hauser’s talk is a reminder that leadership and likability should not be mutually exclusive for women or men. We need to value each other for the unique contributions we bring to the table, regardless of gender.