At first he was very discouraging, to my astonishment then, but now I fancy he did it as a forlorn hope to check me; he said the whole idea was so disgusting that he could not entertain it for a moment. I asked what there was to make doctoring more disgusting than nursing, which women were always doing, and which ladies had done publicly in the Crimea. He could not tell me. When I felt rather overcome with his opposition, I said as firmly as I could, that I must have this or something else, that I could not live without some real work, and then he objected that it would take seven years before I could practise. I said if it were seven years I should then be little more than 31 years old and able to work for twenty years probably. I think he will probably come round in time, I mean to renew the subject pretty often.
Mr. Hawes advised Elizabeth to go into a surgical ward at the Middlesex Hospital for a preliminary period of six months. He could arrange this, he said. It was to test her resolution that Mr. Hawes suggested a surgical ward where conditions at that time, even in the best hospitals, were bad. Mr. Hawes knew that the sights, sounds and smells in a surgical ward would provide a searching test. In 1860 bacteriology was in its infancy and the connection between living germs and wound infection had occurred to no one. The mortality after major operations was appalling, and even in trivial cases infection might occur. For ward visits a frock-coat was worn and for the coat's sake it was exchanged for an old one before the surgeon entered the theatre. Usually he washed his hands after operating, not necessarily before. Gloves were not worn. Sterilization of ligatures and instruments was unknown.
The presence of a young female in the operating theatre is an outrage to our natural instincts and is calculated to destroy the respect and admiration with which the opposite sex is regarded.
I have had a letter from my mother… she speaks of my step being a source of life-long pain to her, that it is a living death, etc. By the same post I had several letters from anxious relatives, telling me that it was my duty to come home and thus ease my mother's anxiety.
Elizabeth obtained a certificate of honour in each class examination; she did so well indeed that the examiner in sending her the list added, 'May I entreat you to use every precaution in keeping this a secret from the students?' In June trouble arose. The visiting physician asked his class a question, none of the men could answer and Elizabeth gave the right reply. The students were angry and petitioned for her dismissal. A counter-petition was sent to the committee but she was told she would be admitted to no more lectures although she might finish those for which she had paid fees.
I must decline to give you instruction in Anatomy… I have a strong conviction that the entrance of ladies into dissecting-rooms and anatomical theatres is undesirable in every respect, and highly unbecoming… it is not necessary for fair ladies should be brought into contact with such foul scenes… Ladies would make bad doctors at the best, and they do so many things excellently that I for one should be sorry to see them trying to do this one.
We dined at six (excellent dinner) delightful general talk, it was most pleasant. The talk was of Comte, George Eliot and her new book Felix Holt… on Herbert Spencer's theory of the sun coming to an end and losing all its force.
At ten John Stuart Mill sent us and Miss Garrett home in his carriage and we had a nice talk on the way home. Her dispensary opens next week. She had much difficulty in becoming a doctor from want of facility for women to learn. She would not mind attending men but does not do it, on account of what would be said. We got home at eleven having enjoyed our day immensely.
Our hearty congratulations on the brilliant success at Paris which has at length crowned your many years of arduous work - work whose difficulties perhaps no one can estimate so well as ourselves. And while congratulating you on receiving the highest honour of your profession from one of the finest medical schools in the world, we desire to express also our appreciation of the example you have afforded to others, and the honour you have reflected on all women who have chosen medicine as their profession.
One argument usually advanced against the practice of medicine by women is that there is no demand for it; that women, as a rule, have little confidence in their own sex, and had rather be attended by a man… it is probably a fact, that until lately there has been "no demand" for women doctors, because it does not occur to most people to demand what does not exist; but that very many women have wished that they could be medically attended by those of their own sex I am very sure, and I know of more than one case where ladies have habitually gone through one confinement after another without proper attendance, because the idea of employing a man was so extremely repugnant to them.
I have indeed repeatedly found that even doctors, not altogether favourable to the present movement, allow that they consider men rather out of place in midwifery practice; and an eminent American doctor once remarked to me, that he never entered a lady's room to attend her in confinement without wishing to apologize for what he felt to be an intrusion.
In England there is at present only one woman legally qualified to practise medicine, and I understand that already her time is much more fully occupied, and her receipts much greater, than is usually the case with a medical man who has been practising for so short a period.
On the afternoon of Friday 18th November 1870, we walked to the Surgeon's Hall, where the anatomy examination was to be held. As soon as we reached the Surgeon's Hall we saw a dense mob filling up the road… The crowd was sufficient to stop all the traffic for an hour. We walked up to the gates, which remained open until we came within a yard of them, when they were slammed in our faces by a number of young men.
Mrs. Garrett Anderson has selected the very worst of all the alternatives suggested when she advises Englishwomen to go abroad for medical education… Mrs. Garrett Anderson's advice is premature in the extreme… Let me conclude that all women who wish to study medicine join the class already formed in Edinburgh, the great majority of whose members are thoroughly of one mind with me in this matter and who, having counted the cost, are like myself, thoroughly resolved to "fight it out on this line."
My sister joined the staff, which was heavily overworked, some eight thousand patients being seen yearly. But she soon discovered that all the more serious medical and surgical cases needing in-patient treatment had to be sent to the County Hospital. As there seemed no chance of a medical woman being put on the staff of that hospital, my mother, sister and others interested in the Dispensary felt that the only solution to the problem was to take a house adjoining and open there a small hospital of twelve beds for medical and surgical cases.
The opposition to this scheme was at first very strong. It seemed impossible to get money. Everything was wanting except the patients, and they were always there with their insistent demand to get a 'lady' to look at them because she would 'understand'. My mother became chairman of the committee… bringing all her organizing power, her clear sense, and unshakable faith, to the service of this building. In due course this little hospital grew to be one of the five general hospitals for women in Britain officered by women doctors.
In 1911 and my sister became the senior surgeon. Undoubtedly all the original work of establishing the hospital was due to my mother and also the breaking down of opposition and prejudice; the development of the hospital and its removal to Windlesham House came four years after her death and was due to my sister, who was recognised on all sides as the Founder of the New Sussex Hospital as it then came to be called.
The idea of women practising medicine in Great Britain distressed Queen Victoria. Indeed in 1881 the Queen's private physician announced that the royal patronage would be withdrawn from an international medical congress held in London if medical women were admitted, and so the women were shut out.
While women in Britain are prevented from studying for medical degrees… other European nations have taken a very different position. We have already seen the Italian Universities were in fact never closed to women, and that at Bologna no less than three women held Professors' chairs in the Medical faculty. We have several instances of degrees granted to women in the Middle Ages by the Universities of Bologna, Padua, Milan, Pavia and others… In Germany also such instances have occurred. At the University of Paris three women are now studying in its Medical School.
Three or four doctors in surrounding villages had seen Janet at my request and they each assured me that her cough was nothing serious. They said it was magnified in her own mind by the fact that her mother had died of consumption. They were wrong. Janet herself accepted the cough as more or less normal and thought I was being unduly fussy.
I insisted on her seeing a woman doctor, Dr. Louisa Martindale, a friend of Elizabeth Robins. The X-ray confirmed that she had tuberculosis. I was enraged by the delay in not catching the trouble at an earlier stage. I took her to Brompton Hospital. 'Too advanced for admission'. I boiled over with fury; after all, if I with only my eyes and no stethoscope had been able to diagnose all those months ago I could be a better doctor myself.
In a mood of complete despondency I grumbled to Elizabeth Robins. In my abysmal ignorance of what medical training involved, I told her that my observations and common sense had proved me right in diagnosis. 'Why couldn't I become qualified and be a doctor'. She turned and looked at me with flashing eyes and an expression I'd never seen in them before and burst out: 'Now that would be a worthwhile life. My father wanted me, urged me, to be a doctor,' and with passionate enthusiasm, 'It's the greatest profession in the world.'
I told my parents I wanted to study Medicine. They refused me to do this. Among other things it was "unsexing". They said they thought I had not the brains to pass the examinations, nor the physical stamina for the hard work involved in the seven years study.
One evening my mother came into my room to talk to me. 'If you are still thinking of being a doctor, you'd better give it up at once. The whole thing is not practical. For one thing you're too old. The profession is already overcrowded and hundreds of girls are going into it. Besides, you would have to live in London. You are too young to live in London'.
'Just now you said I was too old, and now I'm too young,' I remarked. I said that Dr. Louisa Martindale had told me the supply didn't meet the demand and all the woman doctors she knew were doing well. 'Women are so inaccurate, I don't believe her, said my mother. 'But as regards the living in London and training, I tell you at once, I couldn't afford it, so that's the end of it. I spend everything I have on making your father's remaining years happy.'
I was hating the whole conversation, but keeping very calm and cool, my mother continued 'Also it wants great physical strength and you aren't at all strong. You would be wasting the best years of your youth and happiness - you would lose all your friends… You would be mixing with girls of a lower class. The majority would be much beneath you. You couldn't possibly do anything socially, and you would ruin your chance of a woman's only real happiness - being a mother.'
'I feel sure you will regret it later. You would only be able to attend women… It would be a very dull life. Dorothy (Octavia's married sister) has a most interesting life. And she has the satisfaction of knowing that she is making one man perfectly happy', Then she went off into a lecture on the happiness to be obtained from a marriage for money.
We shook hands with Mrs Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who was white-haired and gracious, and who said something tactful about William Wilberforce's great work for the slaves. Most of the girls were younger than I was and of varied types. Some of them by doing Medicine were following in a parent's footstep; some had a definite urge, like myself, to be of the use to the community. These were subdivided into those who wished to be medical missionaries and those who had worked in the Suffrage movement.
During the formative period of childhood and adolescence and and as a young woman one was treated quite differently, in a thousand different ways, from the way in which a boy would have been. One was more protected, less was expected of one in very many directions (although more, of course, in others). A girl in innumerable subtle indirect ways is taught to mistrust herself. Ambition is held up to her as a vice - to a boy it is held up as a virtue. She is taught docility, modesty and diffidence. Docility and diffidence are of uncommonly little use in the business or professional world. A girl, after all, is all the while being prepared for her own special profession; and the profession of a wife or of a daughter at home is best and most successfully carried out by those who are prepared to defer to the judgment of others before their own.
Listen to the Stories
Ana Roqué de Duprey was born in Puerto Rico in 1853. She started a school in her home at age 13 and wrote a geography textbook for her students, which was later adopted by the Department of Education of Puerto Rico. Roqué had a passion for astronomy and education, founding several girls-only schools as well as the College of Mayagüez, which later became the Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. Roqué wrote the Botany of the Antilles, the most comprehensive study of flora in the Caribbean at the beginning of the 20th century, and was also instrumental in the fight for the Puerto Rican woman’s right to vote.
With commentary from Frances A. Colón, Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, United States Department of State. Source: General Archives of Puerto Rico
Some Facts About Non-Traditional Careers for Women
According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, in 2017 the median weekly earnings of women who worked full-time were only 82% of men's full-time median weekly earnings (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2017," BLS Reports.)
Women are underrepresented in occupations across many occupational groups including those in the construction trades and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.
Non-traditional occupations offer a woman higher entry-level wages and higher pay as she advances in her career.
It has been over a century since Los Angeles appointed its first female police officer. More than 130 years ago, Louise Blanchard Bethune, the first female professional architect, set up practice in Buffalo, New York (Companion to Women in the Workplace by Dorothy Schneider and Carl F. Schneider, ABC-CLIO, Inc., 1993).
Best Entry-Level Jobs for History Majors
While the opportunities are broad for someone with a history degree, here are the highest paying history degree jobs you can get right out of school. The good news: these history graduate jobs are not isolated in popular historical destinations. Instead, these in-demand positions exist all over the country.
#1 High School History Teacher
It is one of the most obvious history major jobs, but it takes more than just a strong knowledge in history. Being a teacher in any form requires patience, dedication, and commitment. While elementary and middle school teachers will cover history in some form, high school is when history-specific classes usually begin. You&rsquoll need an education not just on historical information, but on how to teach. You&rsquoll also need a certification to teach in your state.
#2 Research Assistant
A researcher is someone who investigates knowledge and seeks to establish facts. They will need to make detailed observations, analyze information, and interpret the results to make a conclusion. Research skills are needed from nearly every corner of the job market, including the public and private sectors. These jobs include working with teams, meeting with clients, designing a research program, and running field work.
#3 Paralegal or Legal Assistant
Avg. Salary: $48,000
High Salary: $77,000
Working as a paralegal requires research, organization, and clear writing skills, and lawyers don&rsquot always have time to conduct these tasks on their own. A paralegal or legal assistant is responsible for gathering facts related to a case, searching for previous cases, and finding laws, regulations, and legal articles related to the issue at hand. A degree in history becomes extremely useful, and many history majors find jobs in the legal sphere.
1920s to 1950s
Throughout the economic boom of the 1920s, the Great Depression and the New Deal o the 1930s and the WW II and post-war era of the ‘40s and ‘50s, AAUW continued to thrive. Our influential network helped to increase the number of women attending college and universities and supported women in their career development.
By the time we celebrated our 50th anniversary in 1931, AAUW had had 521 branches and 36,800 members. By 1949, we had grown to 1,097 branches and more than 108,000 members.
We greatly expanded our fellowship program, providing direct support for women to pursue their educations. We documented discrimination on campuses and fought for increased inclusion and improved recognition for women in higher education and the workplace. And we supported many pioneering women in STEM, including Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie.
In addition, AAUW worked with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to help to launch the World Center for Women’s Archives, which literally wrote women into the history books.
During WWII, we supported the establishment of women’s units of the armed services and advocated for equal pay and rank for women. Members at the national and local level participated in civilian and military wartime activities, including raising money for a War Relief Fund to assist European scholars and university women displaced by the military occupation.
AAUW actively advocated for the creation of the United Nations: President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed AAUW board member Virginia Gildersleeve, founder of the International Federation of University Women (now Graduate Women International) and one-time Barnard College president, as the sole female U.S. delegate to the San Francisco Conference (United Nations Conference on International Organization) to discuss the creation of the United Nations in 1945. AAUW was granted permanent U.N. observer status in 1946.
The Indispensable Role of Women at Jamestown
Women at Governor Harvey's Jamestown industrial enclave, c. 1630. Detail from painting by Keith Rocco.
National Park Service, Colonial NHP
". the plantation can never florish till families be planted and the respect of wives and children fix the people
on the soil."
Sir Edwin Sandy, Treasurer
Virginia Company of London, 1620
THE LURE OF VIRGINIA - GOD, GLORY, AND GOLD: These were the forces that lured the first English settlers in 1606 to the new and untamed wilderness of Virginia. They carried with them the Church of England and the hopes to convert the Native Americans to Protestant Christianity. They wanted to establish an English hold on the New World and exploit its resources for use in the mother country. Some desired to find its fabled gold and riches and others longed to discover a northwest passage to the treasures of the Orient.
INITIAL LACK OF WOMEN: The settlers were directed by the Virginia Company of London, a joint-stock commercial organization. The company's charter provided the rights of trade, exploration and settlement in Virginia. The first settlers that established Jamestown in 1607 were all male. Although some, like historian, Alf J. Mapp Jr. believe that ". it was thought that women had no place in the grim and often grisly business of subduing a continent. " the omission of women in the first group of settlers may simply mean that they were not, as yet, necessary.
REASONS BEHIND DELAY: The company's first priority in Virginia was possibly to build an outpost, explore and determine the best use of Virginia's resources for commercial profits. The exclusion of women in the first venture supports the possibility that it was an exploratory expedition rather than a colonizing effort. According to historian Philip A. Bruce, it is possible that had colonization not been required to achieve their commercial goals, the company might have delayed sending permanent settlers for a number of years.
ESTABLISHING PERMANENCY: Once the commercial resources were discovered, the company's revenues would continue only if the outpost became permanent. For Jamestown to survive, many unstable conditions had to be overcome.
- A clash of cultures existed between the Englishmen and the Native Americans with whom they soon found to need to trade as well as to Christianize.
- Settlers were unprepared for the rugged frontier life in a wilderness.
- Many settlers intended to remain in Virginia only long enough to make their fortune and then return home to England.
WOMEN'S INDISPENSABLE ROLE: Providing the stability needed for Jamestown's survival was the indispensable role played by Virginia women. Their initial arrival in 1608 and throughout the next few years contributed greatly to Jamestown's ultimate success. Lord Bacon, a member of His Majesty's Council for Virginia, stated about 1620 that "When a plantation grows to strength, then it is time to plant with women as well as with men that the plantation may spread into generations, and not be ever pieced from without."
CONTRIBUTIONS OF EARLY VIRGINIA WOMEN: The first woman to foster stability in Jamestown was not an English woman but a native Virginian. Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, was among the first Native Americans to bring food to the early settlers. She was eventually educated and baptized in the English Religion and in 1614 married settler John Rolfe. This early Virginia woman helped create the "Peace of Pocahontas," which for several years, appeased the clash between the two cultures.
One of the first English women to arrive and help provide a home life in the rugged Virginia wilderness was young Anne Burras. Anne was the personal maid of Mistress Forrest who came to Jamestown in 1608 to join her husband. Although the fate of Mistress Forrest remains uncertain, that of Anne Burras is well known. Her marriage to carpenter John Laydon three months after her arrival became the first Jamestown wedding. While Jamestown fought the become a permanent settlement, Anne and John began a struggle to raise a family of four daughters in the new Virginia wilderness. Certainly, Anne and her family began the stabilization process which would eventually spur the colony's growth.
Another young woman, Temperance Flowerdew, arrived with 400 ill-fated settlers in the fall of 1609. The following winter, dubbed the "Starving Time," saw over 80 percent of Jamestown succumb to sickness, disease and starvation. Temperance survived this season of hardship but soon returned to England. By 1619, Temperance returned to Jamestown with her new husband, Governor George Yeardley. After his death in 1627, she married Governor Francis West and remained in Virginia until her death in 1628. Her many years in Virginia as a wife and mother helped fill the gap in Jamestown's early family life.
In July 1619, settlers were granted acres of land dependent on the time and situation of their arrival. This was the beginning of private property for Virginia men. These men, however, asked that land also be allotted for their wives who were just as deserving ". because that in a newe plantation it is not knowen whether man or woman be the most necessary."
The Virginia Company of London seemed to agree that women were indeed quite necessary. They hoped to anchor their discontented bachelors to the soil of Virginia by using women as a stabilizing factor. They ordered in 1619 that ". a fit hundredth might be sent of women, maids young and uncorrupt, to make wives to the inhabitants and by that means to make the men there more settled and less movable. " Ninety arrived in 1620 and the company records reported in May of 1622 that, "57 young maids have been sent to make wives for the planters, divers of which were well married before the coming away of the ships."
Jamestown would not have survived as a permanent settlement without the daring women who were willing to leave behind their English homes and face the challenges of a strange new land. These women created a sense of stability in the untamed wilderness of Virginia. They helped the settlers see Virginia not just as a temporary place for profit or adventure, but as a country in which to forge a new home.
Women Finally Got To Attend Universities In The 18th & 19th Century
It was in the 19th century that the blossoming of higher education for women really started to accelerate around the world. In 1873, for instance, Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon founded Girton College at Cambridge, an all-female college — but it wouldn't be officially affiliated with the university till 1948. 1833 saw the founding of Oberlin College, which was coed from its first class and 1871 heralded the first coeducational college class in Britain, held in University College London in the Political Economy course with, the professor in charge noted, "five ladies who are manifesting a very intelligent interest in the subject and are evidently studying it with care."
Women who wanted to go to college in Britain were often called, with some sarcasm, "blue stockings," because of the Blue Stockings, a collection of intellectual women in the late 1700s who had banded together to attempt to further their studies on their own. In the UK and on the other side of the pond, though, the 18th and 19th centuries brought a bunch of activists arguing about the right ways in which to educate women, and what higher education would actually be for.
Some American women, like Emma Hart Willard (who founded and published her "Willard Plan" in the early 1800s), held that women needed college-level education for the sake of being well-educated mothers in the new America. Others, like the early proto-feminist Judith Sargent Murray, declared that it went beyond that, and that education was a means towards female empowerment. The fact that the Seneca Falls "Declaration Of Sentiments" by first-wave feminists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton included the line, "He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education, all colleges being closed against her" as proof of man's "tyranny" indicates that it was playing heavily on many peoples' minds.
It wasn't just a discussion playing out in the English-speaking world, either. Russia was, in the 19th century, becoming one of the world's most advanced places for formal women's education, with women allowed to access university-level training and medical courses. And across India, there were a lot of discussions about the fundamental rights of women to higher education while also worrying about violating their "traditional" roles. (A lot of people compromised by saying that better educated women made better mothers and wives it's been a pretty standard defense over the centuries.)
. Education administrator: $86,490
In this role, workers oversee student services, admissions, and academics at colleges and universities, according to the BLS. The field is projected to grow 15 percent through 2022, or slightly higher than the 11 percent growth across all occupations.
A master's degree or higher is often required in this role, especially for high-ranking administrators such as deans.
While women greatly outnumber men in this profession, there is a pay gap that's bigger than some other fields on this list. Women in this field make about 78 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues, according to the Census.
American Business Women’s Association, a national organization aimed at fostering networking among women from diverse occupations.
Association for Women in Computing, a national organization for women programmers, system analysts, operators, technical writers, Internet specialists, trainers and consultants.
Association for Women Geoscientists, an organization for networking and advancement of women in geoscience professions.
Association for Women in Mathematics, a national organization that promote equality for women in the mathematical sciences.
Association for Women in Science, a national multi-disciplinary organization for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, a standing committee and resource of the American Economic Association.
Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, a standing committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
IEEE Women in Engineering, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers resource for women in the field.
National Alliance for Partnership in Equity, a consortium of state and local agencies and organizations dedicated to educational equity and workplace diversity.
National Association of Professional Women, one of the largest networking organizations for professional women.
National Girls Collaborative Project, an organization "committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics."
National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology, and Science, an organization that works to close the gender gap in male-dominated careers, such as technology, the trades and law enforcement.
Non-Traditional Employment for Women, a New York-based organization with a national reach for women in the building and construction trades.
Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting success for women in the trades through education, leadership and mentorship.
Sisters in the Building Trades, a Washington state organization that provides outreach and networking for women in the trades.
Society of Women Engineers, a national group for women in the engineering field.
Tradeswomen, Inc., a California-based advocacy organization for women in the trades.
Wider Opportunities for Women, a Washington DC-based organization for women in the workforce.
Women in Technology, a national professional association for women in the technology industry.
Take the next step towards your future with online learning.
Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.
You're about to search for degree programs related to a career that you are researching. It's important to recognize that a degree may be required for a career or increase your chances of employment but it is not a guarantee of employment when you complete your degree.
I understand a degree DOES NOT GUARANTEE A JOB OR CAREER UPON COMPLETION OF A PROGRAM
It’s time to pave the way to your dream career. Use Lantern, a career and education platform, to get the resources you need to succeed. Discover how Lantern can help you
Light up your future using Lantern, an all-in-one resource that guides you through the complex process of getting to your new career, and everything that comes with it.
Lantern, an all-in-one education and career resource, is passionate about bringing light to what you need to accomplish your career and educational goals, from helping you find your dream job to managing your funding.
The Time Has Come
Back in 1978, James MacGregor Burns coined the phrase "transformational leadership," describing a process in which leaders and followers raise each other to "higher levels of motivation and morality." By focusing on substance, he suggested, transformational leaders improve the level of human conduct and ultimately empowers others.
"It's a way of conceptualizing power that women are particularly suited to and adept at using," says former Planned Parenthood director Gloria Feldt in No Excuses. Whether this ability stems from socialization, brain structure, or something else, women are moving away from the old leadership paradigm. Instead of controlling others and getting them to do what you want, explains Feldt, transformational leadership is about creating consensual, inclusive relationships that focus on collaboration and mutual empowerment.
Recent global research points to evolving attitudes about power. John Gerzema and his colleague, Michael D'Antonio, surveyed tens of thousands of people for their book, The Athena Doctrine. Their study uncovered a growing dissatisfaction with traditionally "male" approaches to business and a "growing appreciation for the traits, skills and competencies that are perceived as more feminine."
In a survey of 64,000 people in 13 counties around the globe, they found that:
- 57% of the respondents were dissatisfied with the conduct of men in their country
- 80% of millennial generation respondents were dissatisfied with the same
What's more, two thirds of survey respondents—both men and women—agreed with the statement that, "The world would be a better place if men thought more like women."
But how do women around the world think, anyway? And how does this thinking apply to leadership?
To find out, the researchers asked half of their sample (32,000 people globally) to classify 125 different character traits—descriptors such as loyal, decisive, collaborative—as either feminine, masculine or neither. Next, they asked the other half of their sample to rate the same words (independent of gender) for their relationship to leadership. When the researchers crunched the data, says Gerzema, there was consensus: "…what people felt was 'feminine' they also deemed essential to leading in an increasingly social, interdependent and transparent world."
But these characteristics aren't exclusive to women. Anyone can incorporate them into an effective leadership approach. In The Athena Doctrine, Gerzema recounts the stories of dozens of men and women doing just that, from a (male) scientist who dropped the mask of "supreme competence" when he created a social network for thousands of his peers, to a woman who recruits grannies to become professional knitters.
"The resounding message we learned from our research—both empirical and anecdotal—is that in this open, social, interdependent economy, leaders need to evolve," says Gerzema. "They still need to be aggressive, resilient, decisive and all those more male-associated qualities that leaders are known for, but they also need to build in more of the feminine qualities such as empathy, transparency, collaboration, selflessness and passion."
If Gerzema is right, the world is hungry for a new style of leadership—one that's less Lehman Brothers and more "lean in," less adversarial and more adept at navigating a changing, interconnected future.