A Workshop on Feminine Leadership

persist* Summit

14 April 2018 , , Philia

This April, professionals from cause-driven organisations, career changers, entrepreneurs, and students came together at ESCP Europe Business School in Charlottenburg to attend the persist* Summit. The summit is an event organised by Germany’s largest impact community tbd*. Participants browsed stalls and chatted with potential employers, plus attended workshops with experts from Google, Kienbaum, and N3XTCODER on topics from career development to blockchain for social good. Philia believes that inner growth and fulfilment is closely linked to having a purposeful job, so we were extremely happy when we were invited to contribute a workshop to the summit.

The topic of the workshop was “Feminine Leadership – A Positive Approach to Gender Equality”. The core idea was to explore the concepts of femininity and masculinity and how they relate to leadership. We were especially interested in perceived existing company cultures and to what extent participants feel an expectation to lead in a more feminine or masculine way. What is more, we discussed to what extent the concepts of feminine and masculine leadership match our experience of how women and men lead.

The workshop was very interactive: We discussed personal examples, did a role and conducted a little conversation experiment. Our main takeaway from the workshop was that there are many open questions and tricky topics. It would be easy to conclude that women automatically lead in a more feminine way, but like with most stereotypes, this picture is overly simplistic. It remains also unclear to what extent femininity and masculinity are a result of the societal imprint on children rather than inherent traits. Lastly, we need to ask the question: Is it empowering to group traits in gendered terms? Or does it add another polarising layer to the gender debate? It is a topic of much complexity that we look forward to explore further!