We need to elect more women over the next several years to heal the wounds of divisiveness, or more accurately, the perception of divisiveness.
“Women are natural problem solvers and collaborators. We don’t grandstand; we want to get our hands dirty and get things done.” Jennifer Sarver, first time Republican candidate, Texas
Fortunately, we have many Jennifers, Janes and Sarahs to consider as more women are running for office in the United States than ever before.
Why elect more women?
Sarver’s quote, above, reflects my own research on how men and women perceive gender differences in leadership. The vast majority of 50 business leaders I interviewed stated that women are more:
- Emotionally intelligent
- Concerned with social good
- Caring for and sensitive to others, and better at
- Building interpersonal connections
While women are not better suited to lead than men and men are not better suited to lead than women, we bring key differences to the table. These differences allow for different ways of perceiving the world and its problems, along with different gifts for resolving them.
I suggest it’s time to tilt towards our female differences.
Social science research highlights stereotypically defined male and female attributes.
- Emotionally attuned
- Builds bonds
- Makes connections
- Concerned with community
- Individualist orientation
Individualism or Humanity? Walls or Bridges?
Over recent decades, more intensely of late, too many of our predominantly male federally elected officials, have dropped even the veil of civility. The loudest voices are no longer willing to reach across the aisle with humanity for the sake of our common humanity. Some relish in dividing us, to gain an advantage for themselves and their tribe. This is individualism at its most destructive.
At the same time, we have benefitted from male ingenuity, along with the desire and know-how to build. Let’s not lose that. But now it’s time to tilt towards a concern for community and humanity over individualism and tribalism.
Let’s elect those who are inclined to build bridges. Let’s bring in women who are emotionally attuned to our human problems and have the emotional intelligence to address them. Let’s elect more women to build bonds that unite us, instead of walls that divide us.
Interested in electing more women? Here are four organizations that support women candidates.
Make a non-partisan contribution at Running Start
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Support Republican women running for office here.
Support LGBTQ candidates here.