The Dalai Lama once wrote on Twitter that he urges “young women to accept leadership roles.” He said, “we need you to promote love and compassion. Realise my dream — that the 200 nations of the world be governed by women. There’ll be less war, violence, and economic and social injustice because strength is rooted in love and compassion.” While this quote is endearing, what needs to be recognized is that we don’t just need women to accept leadership roles — we need healthy women to accept leadership roles.
Unhealthy Women in Leadership Positions
We already have women in leadership positions in this day and age, like CEO’s, executives, and heads of companies. However, many women in these high-ranking positions can be mean, degrading, narcissistic, and abusive. Many of these women are not, for example, healthy in their leadership positions — mentally and emotionally.
Additionally, we can see examples of unhealthy women in leadership by observing history. Mary, Queen of Scots, conspired to kill Queen Elizabeth the First of England, and the Empress Wu Zeitan of ancient China executed anyone who threatened her rule.
While those are more extreme examples, the point is that we need to bring awareness that while women do have the potential to be leaders of creating a better world, we need to be healthy in our positions. We need women who can handle power and responsibilities in healthy ways. And while there is the potential of women stopping wars, creating less violence, and having a better system of fairness, it’s not here yet.
Truth About Working Women
In this day and age, if you are working with a group of women, the chances are that you have experienced drama, comparison, jealousy, and competition. Perhaps by comparing yourself to other women, or participating in gossip with women.
We as women still have a hard time getting along — let alone with ourselves — even if we appear to be ok on the surface. And while it is possible for all women to be mature and handle matters practically and in ways that support everyone, female groups can become quite unhealthy due to the high levels of estrogen and emotions. Having men involved, with their logical, structural, and direct support, can be very beneficial for women, which is why the future is not just female — it’s for everyone.
Women in the Work Place
Most likely, women can become poor examples of leadership in the system due to copying what they see men do in the world system. We unconsciously believe it’s necessary to take on aggressive and competitive roles because of the idea of how we can get to the top.
In a 2016 ForbesWomen article, they found that a contributing factor to the female rivalry is the workplace itself:
‘’The male-dominated workplace sets women up to compete due to increased scrutiny and a scarcity of top leadership positions for women. The psycho-social factors, along with the workplace culture together, create female rivalry at its nastiest…”
From this, we can see competitive, nasty behaviors are brought out and fueled in the system. But we as women cannot blame men and the patriarchy entirely for our harmful actions. To quite an extent, we are aware of what we are doing to each other and ourselves and have the potential to improve and change.
Plus, if we as women don’t change our unhealthy behaviors, we’ll show young girls through our living example that it’s ok to be like this when we know deep down, it’s not.
Becoming Healthy Women in Leadership Positions
Fortunately, in this day and age, we have women in leadership positions who are quite extraordinary and healthy leaders.
For example, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern is known for her empathetic, down-to-earth approach with her people — especially during this pandemic. New Zealand is on the fast track to having the virus completely eliminated and had 100 days with no community coronavirus transmission. Jacinda continues to be a beacon of strength for her country, which is incredibly needed and admirable at this time.
So while we need more healthy women in leadership positions, it is even more critical that we have healthy relationships with ourselves. Because if we don’t, that will come through in our words, actions, and behaviors and create outflows in our world we may not be proud of.
How do we start becoming healthy women in leadership positions? We focus on eliminating our toxicity while getting the job done. Also, we stop gossiping about colleagues and stop the idea we are better or less than others because of our status, education, etc. Plus, we actively work on gaining qualities we get jealous about… and so much more.
More solutions and insights on how we can become healthier women in leadership positions will be discussed in future blogs.
Thanks for reading.