Why Standing Up is More Important Than Leaning In At the Workplace

No one wants to say it, no one wants to hear it, but the truth is that women are really doing a great disservice to themselves and to others by not having more inclusive conversations with men about leadership and what this means for the future. However, the whole conversation about whether women should lean in or not has unfortunately got a bad rap in the last couple of years, thanks to much confusion because on the one hand, women are told to not outdo their bosses and on the other, they are told to challenge them. So, what kind of leadership lessons are women learning today because these lessons surely aren’t very clear? 

Women’s leadership needs to be reignited in a different way and women need to take on the ‘AURA approach

Today, there is a myriad of materials of all things related to women’s leadership whether they are books, blog posts, programs, and even boot camps, and in spite of all of this, a study conducted by The Globe and the Mail revealed that companies led by women CEOs and chief financial officers are not finding investors easily. “If savvy capital markets can’t compute the simple equation women-led-equals-greater-return-on-equity, you know there is a problem,” said The Globe and the Mail. Hence, the talk about women’s leadership needs to be reignited in a different way and women need to take on the ‘AURA approach. We need to move beyond stories to Awaken, Unsettle, take Responsibility, and get into Action.’ For a hard change to take place, women and men need to work together in order to “awaken new sensibilities”, but first organizations need to take a stand when it comes to equity so that there can be a holistic perspective in every area of the company and this can have a massive impact on the work environment of the company as wells the social aspects of work. 

Women and men need to work together to fight the good fight and not just individually but more importantly, collectively

“Why not aggregate their learning to advance women and men to awaken, unsettle, share responsibility, and take action on these issues?” This is because the biggest concern among corporate leaders today is increasing the company’s competitive advantage, however for this to happen the government, as well as corporates, need to work together to create a process that will lead to success, rather than just a policy. Equity should be used as a unifier for all. Also, women and men need to work together to fight the good fight and not just individually but more importantly, collectively. “Old, middle-aged or young, all women seeking to make a change need to work with men to establish a new momentum, one that is co-created and shared.” We need to move beyond “posture” to embrace the “process” because, at the end of the day, this is what counts and processes really fo matter. It’s ridiculous to lean in if the process itself constantly stops you from doing so, actions need to be conducive to the process. 

Image credit: Science

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