If intelligence has no gender, shouldn’t it follow that leadership potentiometer be gender-blind and therefore free from bias, favouritism, partiality or chauvinism?
The Wings of Success
Growth and development have become daily mantras in talks, seminars, speeches, symposiums, training all over the world in continents, countries and organisations but soaring into this growth, in the writings of Abdu’l-Baha (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, sec. 227, p. 302) requires two wings – the wings of the male and female gender.
Since the creation of the world, men and women have participated in developmental ventures, trades, socio-economic activities and leadership at various levels. What remains a mystery is why leadership has remained attributed, largely reserved to the male domain? This mystery has endured for generations and may continue to be so until the gap of gender equality in leadership positions becomes seamless or obliterated. Women should be opportune similarly as men and be open to the enjoyment of equal resources, protection; contributing to, and benefitting from economic, social, cultural and political development.
Women as Equal as Men in Key Leadership Traits
Therefore, it is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, and not as two opposing sets of ideas. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive and strong to hold leadership positions at any level or organisations in society. It is generally conceived that women have the capabilities which will enhance choice making or enlarge the basket of choices as different perspectives to solving socio-economic problems are made bare. It is also to be noted that the potentials of women remain untapped; hence, the need for gender equality, diversity and inclusion in leadership positions recruitment.
Why are women still in short supply at higher executive and political leadership positions when they are about as equal as men when it comes to key leadership traits as intelligence, capacity for innovation, observable women upper hand when it comes to being compassionate and organised leadership traits (Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends, 2017). This is not a manifesto for feminism but a voice speaking for the empowerment of Nigerian women and pathfinder for the next generation of women. It is also not intended to put the female folk in unfair competition against the male folk. It is rather a call to visit the untapped leadership resource mine in women which is a resource to Nigeria’s advancement especially in the areas of socio-economic development and a salutary diversity of the economy.
Condition for True Advancement
According to Albrectsen (2017), a country is only said to be truly advanced or developed when it has more women in leadership. Similarly, Tian Wei, a CCTV Anchor said, ‘any society that fails to harness the energy and creativity of its women is at a huge disadvantage in the modern world, for the men and women need to be equal partners if human race is to reach its full potential’ (United Nations, 66th General Assembly, Third Committee, 2011).