Innovate to find our own leadership spaces, that’s the key

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Categories: diversity, gender, leadership, women


Understanding what ‘s leading us to lose the motivation to struggle to move from middle management to senior leadership, is what will allow us to overcome our own barriers and eliminate the preconceptions that lie deep in the minds of men, but also in the minds of many women.

 

We see women today claiming for leadership spaces, but at the same time we also see opportunities in front of them that many women seem not to want to take advantage of.

That's where I start thinking about the famous "glass ceiling"; could it be that in “all” cases are “others” who are putting that ceiling on us? Could it be that in many cases we find that ceiling because “we” are the ones to limit ourselves before the slightest difficulty or resistance? I think it’s an important mix of both.

The macho society effectively puts a barrier that don’t allow us to move toward the leadership positions we want, as a matter of fact. But, let us think about it, are those the opportunities we truly want? I see that we do not hesitate to assume leadership at home, but what happens at workplace?

Perhaps the problem is that we are not really interested in those opportunities, which in most cases have been designed for and by men.

I understand there is an important lack of appropriate laws that defends us from abuse and other fundamental rights that must be respected in modern societies. But what I want to focus on is “our” awareness about what are we fighting for? We have to state if we are wanting to compete with them in a “man” scenario or if we want to generate a new one, suitable for both women and men.

I firmly and deeply believe we must innovate, generate new spaces, investigate new options, create the opportunities that truly mobilize us. Maybe the current proposals are not those that motivate us and we should discover what is that in which women are interested in to lead. 

Many studies attribute the lack of women in leadership positions to the fact that we are not interested in hard sciences, we are afraid to take risks, we are afraid of failure, we don’t like to compete.

I don’t see it in that way. At least not in most of the women I know. We like to compete, we like hard sciences and we also take risks and huge ones.

We are still suffering a heavy cultural influence in which women must be "in charge of the house" and carry out everything related to family care.

But things are changing and today there are many men interested in sharing these care activities. So, the extra work should not be the reason.

I want to present you the case of a leader from the Argentine Northwest, Rosario Quispe, who decided to take the initiative to change the lives of 80 aboriginal communities in the Puna area, more precisely in Abra Pampa, province of Jujuy.

It’s a place abandoned to his own fate, with almost no roads and water. In this context and with unemployment reaching high levels, young people was moving away because the opportunities were outside the community. People migrated to not return any more. their own culture was vanishing.

In those critical moments, this woman without formal studies or economic resources but with a great vision and strong determination, decided to create an association of women from her community that called Warmi Sayajsungo ("Persevering women" in Quechua). In her own words, it was created "to be together, to be better, to eat, to be able to educate our children".

This association soon began to promote productive activities, microcredit systems to support these activities and also got support from different personalities to improve the infrastructure, health and education of the community. 

In partnership with a private university from other province, opened in 2012 the University of La Puna in Abra Pampa. They had the first graduate as a Safety and Hygiene Technician in 2016 and in a few months, the first students in Economics and Business Administration will graduate, too. "If we do not have studies, we can lose many things" said Quispe. 

In summary: a group of women without resources or formal education but with a motivation to lead a change in their communities, ventured to take a step further. After 20 years they continue to work hard to improve continuously and to reach a point of no return for all improvements established.

The diamond theory says that we can not have complete control over the others or even over our own objectives, no matter how much we try to convince people or to reach our goals. What we actually can control is ourselves and our own learning processes and knowledge gained through experience, so we must focus primarily on what we have control over. This is why I think that the solution is mainly in our hands and that we could only reach our goals with intense work, innovating to create a fair and equitative world both for women and men, a world where I am sure we would be truly interested in being leaders.. 

Let us lead this essential change that we all need to undertake!

 

 

 

 

Innovar para encontrar nuestros propios espacios de liderazgo, esa es la clave - Por Adriana Cibelli
 

Entender qué es lo que nos lleva a perder la motivación por luchar para avanzar desde mandos medios al liderazgo senior, es lo que nos va a permitir superar nuestras propias barreras y eliminar los preconceptos que subyacen  profundamente en la mente de los hombres, pero también en la de muchas mujeres.

 

Vemos en la actualidad mujeres reclamando espacios de liderazgo, pero a la vez también vemos oportunidades que se presentan y que muchas mujeres parecen no querer aprovechar. 

Es allí donde comienzo a pensar acerca del famoso “techo de cristal”; ¿Será que en todos los casos nos están poniendo ese techo? ¿Será que en muchos casos somos nosotras mismas las que nos auto limitamos ante el mínimo indicio de dificultad o resistencia? Creo que es un poco de ambos.

Efectivamente la sociedad machista nos impone barreras que no nos dejan avanzar hacia las posiciones de liderazgo que queremos, sin lugar a dudas. Pero pensemos un poco más allá, son esas oportunidades las que verdaderamente queremos? No dudamos en asumir el liderazgo en nuestras casas, pero qué nos impide asumir liderazgos en el ámbito laboral?

Tal vez la problemática pase porque no nos interesan verdaderamente esas oportunidades, que en su mayor parte han sido diseñadas por y para hombres.

¿Deberíamos innovar y generar nuevos espacios, investigar nuevas opciones?
De esto estoy convencida.

Se entiende, por supuesto, que aún falta mucho camino por recorrer, como leyes contra el abuso y tantos otros derechos fundamentales que deberían ser respetados en sociedades modernas. No podemos desconocer esa realidad. Pero quiero poner el foco en nuestra propia concientización sobre aquello por lo cual reclamamos. Debemos tener claro si queremos competir con los hombres en un escenario de hombres o bien generar nuevos, que se adequen a hombres y mujeres.

Creo firme y profundamente que debemos innovar, generar nuevos espacios, investigar nuevas opciones, crear las oportunidades que verdaderamente nos movilicen. Tal vez los planteos actuales no sean aquellos que nos motiven y debamos descubrir qué es lo que a las mujeres nos interesa liderar.

Muchos estudios atribuyen la ausencia de mujeres en puestos de liderazgo al hecho de que no nos interesan las ciencias duras, a que tenemos miedo a tomar riesgos, a que le tenemos miedo al fracaso, a que no nos gusta competir.
No lo veo así. Al menos no en la mayoría de las mujeres que conozco. Nos gusta competir, nos gustan las ciencias duras y también tomamos riesgos, grandes riesgos por cierto.

Aún tenemos ese gran peso cultural en el que la mujer debe tomar “cuenta de la casa” y llevar a cabo todo lo relacionado con el cuidado de la familia y lo doméstico.
Pero las cosas están cambiando y hoy día hay muchos hombres interesados en compartir estos cuidados y actividades, con lo cual ese trabajo adicional que consume nuestro tiempo y energías no debería ser el motivo.

Quiero presentarles el caso de una líder del Noroeste Argentino, Rosario Quispe, quien decidió tomar la iniciativa de cambiar la vida de 80 comunidades aborígenes en la zona de la Puna,  más precisamente en Abra Pampa, provincia de Jujuy.
Es un lugar librado a su propia suerte, con caminos casi inexistentes  al igual que el agua. En ese contexto y con un desempleo que había alcanzado niveles alarmantes, la cultura de su comunidad se estaba perdiendo. Los jóvenes se alejaban porque las oportunidades estaban fuera de la comunidad, la gente emigraba para no volver.

Fue entonces que esta sencilla mujer, sin estudios formales ni recursos económicos pero sí con una gran visión y una fuerte determinación, decidió en 1995 crear una asociación de mujeres de su comunidad. La llamó Warmi Sayajsungo (“Mujeres perseverantes” en quechua) y fue creada, según sus propias palabras, “para estar juntos, para estar mejor, para poder comer, para poder educar a nuestros hijos”.

Esta asociación en poco tiempo comenzó a impulsar actividades productivas, sistemas de microcréditos para apoyar esas actividades, y consiguió apoyo de distintas personalidades para mejorar la infraestructura, salud y educación de la comunidad.
En alianza con una universidad privada de otra provincia, abrió en 2012 la Universidad de la Puna en Abra Pampa. Tuvo su primer egresado como Técnico en Seguridad e Higiene en 2016 y en poco tiempo se tendrán los primeros graduados en Ciencias económicas y Administración de Empresas. “Si no tenemos estudios, podemos perder muchas cosas”, declaró Quispe.

En resumen: un grupo de mujeres sin recursos ni educación formal pero con la motivación de liderar ese cambio en sus comunidades, que se aventuraron a dar un paso más allá. Después de 20 años siguen trabajando duramente para mejorar y para que lo conseguido sea sustentable en el tiempo, que ya no tenga vuelta atrás.

Desde que conocí la teoría del diamante que dice que no podemos tener completo control sobre los demas y sobre inclusive, nuestros propios objetivos, aunque hagamos grandes esfuerzos por alcanzarlos y cconvencerlos; pero sí podemos tener control sobre nosotros mismos y nuestro aprendizaje a partir de nuestra experiencia.  Por esto mismo es que considero que la solución está principalmente en nuestras manos y solamente alcanzaremos nuestras metas mediante un intenso trabajo, innovando, para tener un mundo justo, equitativo para hombres y mujeres, en el cual no dudo, nos interesará ser las líderes.

Seamos verdaderas protagonistas de este cambio tan fundamental que todas precisamos llevar adelante!
 

 

Posted by Adriana Cibelli on: December 10, 2018 08:13 PM | Permalink

Comments (8)

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Thanks for sharing. Yes, we have to keep on striving for new avenues to learn and enhance our current leadership traits.

Thank you Rajesh!
Pang, your comment is encouraging for a more equitative world! Thank you!

Thanks Adriana for your post!
I find it really encouraging for women to find ways to overcome our inner barriers that stop us from reaching more leadership roles.
I think it is a reality that there is a "glass ceiling", a "glass labyrinth" or a "sticky floor" - as some metaphors refer to the difficulties that women must go through to raise to leadership roles in organizations.
But it is also true that if we are convinced, those difficulties make us stronger and the achievements are better enjoyed.
I strongly believe that we should work with both dimentions:
a) make people aware of the difficulties that organizations still have for women
b) make sure we are not our main barrier.
Thank you very much for your thoughts!

By the way, I love the story of Rosario Quispe! Great example! Thank you for sharing!

Cecilia, the awareness of the barriers that effectively exists is critical for the change!
Rosario's story is moving!
Thanks everybody for your comments!

Thank you really much for your article Adriana

I've met very talented women without energy to claim deserved positions or postponed recognition.
And on the other hand very talented women hindered or left out with meaningless excuses. It's obvious from many international studies the low percentage of women in positions of power.

I agree with Cecilia, these are the two fronts to investigate and work to give support to the young leaders or to those who can not solve their management problems.

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