the blog Synergy

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Gender Bent Leadership Images??

Is there a problem with the language we use about leadership? Are the words inherently male?

In the various postings and comments last month writing about great leadership I used a bus driver, an orchestra conductor, a sports team manager, and a ship's captain to help make my point. All of these positions are historically male. More recently, bus drivers are equally male or female. But have you seen a female conductor (other than in the schools)? With the advent of women's sports leagues there are still many male managers although females are getting the chance to lead some of them.

Sometimes there are discussions about the proper term to use. Is it "policewoman" when the person is female? Or should we avoid the issue and use the generic "officer"?

If our thoughts become our words, are we inhibited by the words available to us?

Not necessarily. We can always invent new words.

So, do you have words for leaders that are female?
or suggestions for new words?


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