10 Worst Stereotypes About Powerful Women

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So Forbes surveyed women in high ranking, powerful positions as to what their least favorite stereotype about powerful women is?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2011/10/24/worst-stereotypes-powerful-women-christine-lagarde-hillary-clinton/

Here’s the list.

1. Ice Queen
2. Single and Lonely
3. Tough
4. Weak
5. Masculine
6. Conniving
7. Emotional
8. Angry
9.  A Token
10. A Cheerleader

The tough part about reading this list is that the only terms that I think male leaders that might appear would be “tough” or “masculine”.  I’ve always said about myself that “I can get the job done and I don’t have to act like a man or woman to do it”.

But I usually think that stereotypes exist for a reason, so it leads me to the questions: does it make people somehow feel better putting these labels on female leaders? are others looking for any possible way to discredit female leaders? why do these stereotypes persist? how can we change the perception and converstaion about female leaders? are women judging female leaders as strongly as men? do some female leaders feel pressured into acting and appearing a certain way in order to lead?

Stereotypes often undermine the ability to have an open mind about someone’s uniqueness. We all have an IQ, a sense of humor, abilities, passions, fabulousness, etc. And I think this article was just a reminder for me to continue to keep an open mind about each women’s reasons for acting and appearing a certain way while balancing that she (and we) are all individuals.

 

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One response »

  1. Perhaps these stereotypes exist so that women can only be acceptably powerful when they are sexual. At least those are the messages that we get in the media and socially. When our bodies don’t fit the stereotype of what is acceptably attractive and sexual, our other valid leadership and powerful qualities are diminished. We’ve got to change that notion, and we can start with ourselves.

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