In looking at leadership scandals and the tendencies of today’s political leaders to be Narcissistic Sociopaths, it struck me, where were the women?
As I thought about it more, I realized that very few of the scandals that are plaguing politics in Canada, the US and Europe today are being initiated by women leaders. And what’s up with that? Women are more successful these days in breaking through the glass ceiling but then why aren’t there more scandals involving women?
Are women just more ethical than men? Are the numbers of women in leadership scandals too few or have they not been there long enough for us to notice a trend in woman initiated scandals?
Since Freud says that everything we do springs from two motives: the urge for sex and the desire to be great, one would expect that the combination of the two would result in just as many scandals involving women as men.
But that’s not the case. Scandals seem to be the virtually exclusive purview of men. While leadership isn’t only about avoiding scandals, is it perhaps that women make better leaders than men?
Do you remember Eleanor Clitheroe (sp?, Ontario Hydro)? I think the untouchable Hazel McCallion made news recently regarding her feting City contracts to her family members.
Oh I’m sure the same ratio of female leaders get up to their fair share of misdeeds as their male counterparts. 3 reasons why we don’t see it as much:
1. There are less women at the top than men (for now, and for less time – as you mentioned).
2. They are much better at concealment or are assumed to have better behaviour (perhaps this is sexist, but I think a considerable number of women might agree).
3. Female leaders commit boring scandals (this point has absolutely no fact-based evidence and should be stricken from the record – but Mayor McCallion’s handling of City Contracts – BORING!).
I like how you say “…leadership isn’t only about avoiding scandals…” – as if creating and avoiding scandals is listed as one of the main job duties for your everyday CEO / President / Politician type. That’s funny!
In regards to quality of leadership, I like to believe it is a trait that transcends any type of demographic division. In this day-in-age I hope I am in the growing majority.
Well Gord, you better read today’s post because while we may strive to think that all people are equal, that may not actually be the case. I think there is a case to be made that women are better leaders than men.
I’m not sure that Freud saw particularly clearly into the female psyche, as others observed later on. I think one of the differentiating factors in the possible lesser evils of female leadership is women’s general tendency to enjoy collaboration rather than competition. I would posit that in the act of collaborating, there is less room for deceit and scandal. It is also a reflection of a generally lesser quest for “greatness” as defined by a predominantly (or historically built) male system. It all ties in to the way in which women tend to seek meaning in their work and to move through life with very permeable boundaries between personal life and work life. Just offering some personal ruminations to ruminate over…
Thanks for the rumination. There are so many variables to leadership that it boggles my mind and yes, collaboration is one facet at which women excel.