Against all odds

Shocking statistics reveal that women are still getting the short end of the stick in the workplace. A more assertive approach is needed if women hope to change their fate in society according to Lizanne De Jong, course leader of the Management & Leadership Development for Women workshop hosted by Alusani Skills & Training Network.

There is no such thing as a great female leader or a great male leader says De Jong. Whether male or female, a great leader is simply an individual that has vision and is able to inspire others and possesses strong values.

According to De Jong the downfall of potential female leaders is the belief that they need to be like men to be accepted and successful. They try to discard those elements that make them different from males, yet the very characteristics that are rejected are the qualities that can produce excellent leaders.

Women have compassion, insight and an innate ability or instinct that should be nurtured not eliminated. These traits which are unique to women are some of the greatest strengths of successful business professionals and as an added bonus they don’t have to deal with the dreaded male ego.

However, men do have the advantage in the workplace. Their attitude of superiority and entitlement which is constantly affirmed in the workplace is born at home and reinforced at school, in the business world and by society at large. This socialisation plays a big role in the beliefs, attitudes and behaviour of both men and women.

This 2-day leadership course focuses on the impact of socialisation and seeks to unravel patterns of wrong thinking in women. It investigates cultural upbringing and aims to unpack the messages that females receive at a young age about their role and place in the working world.

Despite the fact that women comprise 62% of the workplace they hold a dismal 4% of top executive positions. In addition, salary comparisons reveal that women earn a staggering 25% less than their male counterparts, says De Jong.

For all the fancy words and good intentions of government to transform the workplace and deliver so called ‘gender equity’ the facts show that transformation is still very much a work in progress. These sobering stats reveal that women are still being heavily discriminated against in the workplace.

The Management and Leadership Development for Women training course is designed to help women become more assertive in their communication, “assertive not aggressive” emphasises De Jong. It teaches females to express their needs in the right way. This training course will help women challenge traditions, fight the odds and achieve their leadership goals.

The teachings are not limited to aspirant leaders; in fact the course is extremely useful to women from all walks of life and can be applied in the workplace and at home.

The feedback from women has been phenomenal says de Jong. More than teaching women how to behave, the course has helped women redefine their perceptions about themselves.

The 2-day ‘Management and Leadership Development for Women’ Course hosted by Alusani Skills & Training Network , email faith @alusani.co.za or visit Alusani Skills & Training Network

By Cindy Payle

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