The Future Is Female

If we continue as a nation on the path we are on now, women will not achieve leadership equality until 2085 despite the fact that women comprise 52 percent of professional jobs. It is no secret that women are severely underrepresented in politics and workplace settings. This issue does not exist at only a national level, but at a local level, too. So how exactly has this issue manifested in the professional and academic world and how can we conquer it?  

Studies have shown that society has made women their own worst enemies in some cases. Women sometimes do not apply or go after a scholarship, internship, leadership position or job for a couple of reasons. The fear of not being qualified for a position prevents women from applying. The reality is, those women are often qualified, and sometimes even overqualified, whereas their male counterparts will often apply and sometimes even be unqualified, yet still get the job.

Society has stigmatized women to such an intense degree that women sometimes believe men are stronger leaders. With this belief, it has caused women to think negatively about themselves and what they're capable of. In addition to that, Employers may view them as vulnerable, inefficient or unmotivated if they start a family based on their gender. This can play a determining role if women get that job or raise. The amount of work that women put in is often overlooked. Many women actually work "two" full-time jobs, one at the office and one at home. These women go to work at the office and do their best, and then come home to cook, clean and raise a family. These women often do not get breaks, and sometimes their job at home can make employers view them as less, when in reality it should be viewed as more. 

The reality is, women are highly effective leaders. Think back to 2013 when the government literally shut down. The efforts led by five female senators from both major political parties crossed partisan lines to form a committee, propose legislation and essentially get the government running again was significantly overshadowed. Senator Collins (R-ME) made a public comment stating, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that women were so heavily involved in trying to end this stalemate. Although we span the ideological spectrum, we are used to working together in a collaborative way.”

These female senators are not the only ones working in a collaborative way. Business Insider points out that women actually dominate men in 12 of the 16 competencies. Perhaps the traditional female nurturing skill deserves more credit as it clearly fosters an environment for collaboration and success.

So to my Hawkeye ladies, be ambitious. Never doubt your competency, qualifications, leadership skills or self when you apply for your next scholarship, internship or job. Support other women and don’t be afraid to work together. When we lift one another up, the future becomes ours. And always remember, empowered women empower women.

If you’re interested in watching an amazing global female empowerment video about International Day of the Girl mixed with Beyoncé, I highly recommend this video. It's a great video to motivate you and inspire you while raising awareness for female global disparity.

 

Competency Chart