Every leadership position requires that performance assessment is done from time to time. This assessment is to ensure that the position serves the mandate upon which it exists for.
When it comes to women in leadership positions, an objective assessment may sometimes turn into a gender issue that removes objectivity when not critically examined.
Women and leadership
The last few decades have seen more women get into leadership positions. Women have started occupying leadership positions in all spheres, from the local church to senior political positions.
As it is with leadership positions, there are two things; either one is delivering on what is required, or they are not. So that critics will always be there to ensure one is in check.
Objectively Criticizing a woman Leader
The fact that women these days occupy leadership positions has led to a situation where criticizing their work in one way or the other leads to people pulling out the gender card. When an objective analysis is turned into something like this, then the viability of that position becomes questionable.
Some people might not use the gender card when criticizing a woman’s leadership, but many men are prone to bias and pulling the gender card. A recent case is what happened to the female governor of Meru. She has been in the news headlines because of corruption allegations. The case of corruption has brought about the whole issue of gender. The case could have ended differently if it was a man facing corruption and nepotism allegations.
The Gender Card
The gender card comes into play when an objective undertaking is turned into sexism or misogyny. When people start pulling the gender card, the goalpost changes, and whatever issue people are trying to look at loses its relevance. The focus is now on the woman and the whole activity might have sprouted from sexism or misogyny.
Why Gender Card is still effective
Women have a history of being referred to as the inferior gender who need protection. In leadership positions, history has it that women were not to work in public spaces, let alone in leadership positions. With this history, the gender card has a high chance of working when brought out in an instance where a woman’s effectiveness is being talked about.
A leader or a woman?
When a man is in a leadership position, everything is neutral. Assessments never bring about the issue of gender. Maybe because it’s a space that men have occupied for ages. However, there is so much that comes into deliberation when a woman comes into office.
The first thing to note is that the public sees the gender when it is a woman holding a specific office. So that everything to do with issues at hand mentions gender.
The is never a blanket overview of an individual being a leader when it is a woman.
Maybe that is why most of the time, people can easily say chairman instead of chairwoman.
Gender and general leadership
There is an issue of objectivity when getting women into the public sphere of service as leaders. Some people believe that women can get into public office through the election the same way men have gotten into this space. People with this view argue that women have everything it takes to get into public office.
Then, others believe that women are disadvantaged and, therefore, there is a need for policies that will put them in a suitable position to access public office. A good example is the Kenyan third-gender rule.
There should be objectivity when it comes to woman’s leadership
Leadership requires Objectivity right from the planning of activities to be done to the execution and the actual success. A woman leader is no exception, meaning that objective criticism will happen from time to time. Objectivity in a woman’s leadership depends greatly on assessment and unbiased criticism.
Here are more articles on women’s Leadership
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Communications Director Susan Maingi Talks About The Impact Of Mentorship For Women In Leadership
Gender Issues: 5 Challenges Faced By Young Women In Leadership
More Women Are Getting Into Leadership Positions – Here Are Some Of The Reasons
Here Is How The Media Can Contribute To The Women In Leadership Agenda