Let’s Get Real!
Let’s Get Real! Recently ABC News reported that last weekend several thousand Australian women flocked to an Evangelical Christian conference in Sydney, devoted to what it means to be a ‘godly woman’. Part of the sermon was about having ‘long hair”.
One point was made by a keynote speaker, Ms Read, Dean of Women at the Presbyterian Christ College in Sydney was that.
“It might be more in line with God’s good design to have long hair because it was a visible sign of the difference between men and women in which God delighted.”
During the Conference, attended by approximately 3000 women, another concept evolved that women should consider themselves as ‘helpers’ of men in the workplace. In fact one speaker even remarked that if a woman was/is a CEO ‘she should perform her role in a way that was helpful to men’.
At the same time, a video was shown in which a female minister said.
“what makes her happy is when she is able to make her male colleagues ‘shine’.”
Given that, it came to no surprise that many women left the Conference before it ended.
These type of draconian views are problematic in modern day society for a number of reasons. Research indicates that women have been disenfranchised and dis-empowered in all spheres of societies and communities. In addition to that they are not treated ‘equally’ in the workplace.
Women at work receive on average, 16.7% less in a particular role when compared to their male counterpart. The number of women in executive leadership is even less impressive. For example, according to ABS, in 2013-14 just 26% of Key Management Personnel, 24% of Board Directors and 17% of CEO’s were women in Australia.
The speakers went on to comment about female leaders. Emphasizing that they perform their roles in a way that is helpful to men. This is alarming, at best because surely it is more important that they should perform their role in way that is helpful to the business, their colleagues and the organisation at large. In fact there should be no such focus on gender specification!
If a female is only happy when her ‘male colleagues shine’ she has missed the point completely. Surely it is about making everybody shine? Including peers, staff and even the profit posted each year?
Women in leadership roles in business have one focus. That is to be exemplary in their roles. Regardless of whom they lead or what type of Organisation they find themselves in. A women’s focus is not to position herself to help men at work. Neither is it to please members of the opposite sex, so that they shine.
Leadership is about direction, strategy, goal setting and implementation and finally, reviewing outcomes and achievements.
As long as businesses or faith based Organisations (including Evangelical Colleges) see women as having to be subservient, pleasing of and heeding to the needs of their male counterparts in the workplace, we will remain locked in the cycle of gender inequality and stereotyping, impacting businesses, communities and societies in the future and for a long time to come.
Wake up! Let’s Get Real!