Take Me to Your (Male) Leader

Last week, the Pew Research Center released a report entitled, "Men or Women: Who's the Better Leader?" The results were surprising.

The report asked respondents to measure eight leaderships traits, including intelligence, honesty, compassion, and creativity. Both the men and women surveyed consistently ranked women higher than men for many of these traits.

70% of those surveyed also said that both genders were equally capable of being political leaders.

However, here's where things take a turn south.

Only 6% of those surveyed said women make better leaders. 21% said men were the better leaders. Keep in mind that men and women held these views almost equally and only a few more men than women thought men made the better leaders.


Why are women doubting their own gender's ability to lead better than men?

Yes, women have made tremendous gains in both politics and business. This country almost witnessed the nomination of its first female presidential candidate. Women head several major companies, including Xerox and Kraft Foods. And yet sexism is endemic in our culture. Women are not given equal pay for equal work. The Fair Pay Act, which would guarantee it by law, is held up in Congress. They earn .77 cents for every dollar earned by men doing the exact same job, even though more women are enrolled in college than men, and receive better grades than men. And the Lilly Ledbetter case demonstrates how difficult it is for women who dare to challenge pay discrimination in the workplace.

Sadly, according the the Pew report, it's mainly the women of my mother's generation who see the need for more social change to ensure women are given equal rights. Apparently, women my age are more complacent, or don't see how sexism impacts their lives. Unfortunately, the results of this survey show the impact of these beliefs.

Until women are guaranteed equal pay for equal work, until this country stops dissecting the wardrobe choices, hairstyles, and family decisions of women vying for top political positions, and until women in high-ranking leadership roles are more than an anomaly, our sisters, aunts, daughters, and granddaughters will continue to believe that men make better leaders than they do.

As a woman and a feminist, these survey results were quite the wake-up call.

5 Responses to “Take Me to Your (Male) Leader”

  1. # Anonymous Ness

    My Personal oppinion?

    Female leaders = good.
    If All world statespeople were women with kids? = WORLD PEACE.

    No hunger. No fighting. No nukes. No Carbon footprint. No problems.

    Yeah...what the heck are we waiting for?  

  2. # Blogger Mom24

    Thought provoking again. I just wish we could try to stop worrying about who's better, and realize it depends on the individuals involved. I could not answer that men or women make better leaders.  

  3. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I have been shocked by the sexism of people I thought were progressive that has been highlighted by this election. Turns out we are not as evolved as I thought. We have a lot to overcome.  

  4. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    I hadn't heard of that survey, and I'm glad I hadn't (been staying away from news as of late, except for the hurricane.)
    When I worked in news, I was surrounded by men and women who hated Hillary. This was in 2004. I asked one woman why she hated her, and the woman stopped dead in her tracks. She didn't know. She didn't have a reason. Finally, she said that Hillary should have left Bill. I honestly believe had Hillary left Bill, this woman would have criticized her for that.
    It's terrible that strong women in the workplace are seen as (not sure about your cussing policy here) female dogs, but men who are strong are just seen as strong.
    There's such a double standard, and I think you're right, many of us women play into it as well.
    Maybe that feminist should have been attacking this subject in the article that made me so mad!!  

  5. # Blogger Shannon

    if we are trusted to raise our kids... why can't we run companies and countries... I said that when i was little and I still believe it... plus men are just as moody as women so I never wanna hear that we can't because when we pms we would blow up some country... I still think that Nam was one big old PMS mess that some guy started!  

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