Stop Telling Women They Must Change Themselves to Become Leaders

By Melanie Dunn | The Globe and Mail | March 08, 2019

"Let’s start here: The generation before mine had to fight for women’s rights. Mine is the generation with opportunities. Some might say that I have advanced to a leadership position in part because I’m a woman, and that in an era that prioritizes gender equality, I’ve been lucky to have a “short cut.” To a point, this is true. But if equity initiatives helped mitigate 100 years of discrimination, I’m okay with that.

But I’ve started to question where we are now. As a matter of course, we take women aspiring to leadership roles and set them up to be trained, groomed, sponsored and mentored. I wonder if we’re reinforcing the idea that women aren’t as valuable as men, that we are lacking somehow and need to be fixed.

There have been many advancements in the workplace, yet it continues to value very specific types of behaviour. By default, they are behaviours most often attributed to men because for so long work was only populated by men. But these behaviours don’t fit everyone."

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