Women in leading positions?

Hi, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the following question. I’ve recently had a discussion with some executives of a company about the definition of a good leader. Some of them suggested that it is much harder for women to take responsibilities in an organization than it is for men. They even said it is almost impossible for a single woman with a small child to hold any leading position in a company. The following statements were made:

“If you want to make a career you have to make a 100% commitment. You can either be a mother of a young child or a company executive. If you want to be a good leader you have to spend 10 hours or more in the office every day. You have to be there if an urgent decision has to be made.”

The overall consensus was that it is extremely difficult if not impossible to be a leader in business if you are a single mother.
What do you think?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, talks: University employee is asking visitor to move vehicle from fire zone[YSaerTTEW443543]

I think they were saying that it’s almost impossible to be a GOOD leader in business if you want to be a GOOD single mother. There are women who have children, dump them off on other people, and pursue their careers, but often either their careers don’t come out well, or their children grow up disturbed.

Beyond that, the father has to show up very often if the child is going to grow up normally. I have known many women whose fathers either abandoned their families or else worked so much that the girls saw them less than one day a week, or maybe never saw them. These girls have emotional and behavioral problems all the way up into their 20s. Boys also don’t do well if there is no father present, and are more prone to crime and other anti-social behaviors. There are people whose heads are in the 1970s who argue that one parent can be both parents, but research is finding out more and more that this is not true. (They also show that the death of a parent has fewer long-term bad effects than a divorce does, or just sloppily producing a child with no intention of having a family.)

There are also various issues with leadership style when women take management positions, and I know plenty of women who hate working for women. I have a friend who insists that women have ruined the advertising business as they’ve come to dominate it, because they play the politics of personal feelings too much and needlessly slow down people’s productivity. One of my sisters had a problem in her corporate department that her female manager used to hire women she felt sorry for and try to transform them into mentally healthy, productive workers. It never worked, and so, as was later proven by an efficiency study, only two women did almost all the work in the department.

At another company, I saw another typical female management problem. They hired a very troubled girl to run the large copiers. She was very uncooperative and at least once she paralyzed the company by locking herself in the copier room while she fought with her boyfriend on the phone for three or four hours. Under most managers, this girl would have been fired, and that would have been her signal that she’s got to grow up. Instead, she was given endless “last chances” and was finally put under the supervision of a woman I worked with. It turned out she was nearly impossible to manage, because whenever she was disciplined or didn’t like an order, she’d go into the bathroom and cry. She knew that if she did this, secretaries would eventually happen in and coo, “Honey, what’s wrong?” allowing her to tell her whole distorted story. Very soon my friend’s supervisor would get calls reporting that “Cyndi is being too harsh” with the girl, and my friend would be countermanded somehow. My friend was not a harsh or brutal manager, but the girl’s tears would reach all the way up the female management chain and make it impossible for my friend to hold the girl to her responsibilities.

Men make foolish management mistakes also, but not that kind.

Hi Jamie,

First you have the world divided into classes and now you pick on a few anecdotes about dodgy women and base womenkind on them. I really feel you should get out more. Come on Conchita -where are you?


  1. What does dodgy mean? I don’t know all the British slang. From hearing the the British use the word in many contexts, it appears that it can mean almost anything.

  2. Those anecdotes weren’t meant to indicate that ALL women manage that way, and a person who thinks would immediately know that. They were meant as illustrations. Men and women do TEND to have different mentalities – even though feminists have been denying it for about 30 years – and if you get a corporate department in which the foolish management decisions are made for the purpose of “nurturing” or “preserving people’s feelings”, it’s almost always a woman managing it. Men tend to make the “LEAD, FOLLOW OR GET OUT OF THE WAY!” style of mistakes.

  3. Alan, you’ve shown a repeated tendency to interpret all anecdotal examples as being blanket characterizations of an entire nation, class or group of people. You’re too intelligent to fall into that kind of simple-minded interpretation, yet you do it repeatedly. It is as if I were to interpret your anecdote about the British army as a blanket generalization of all British people and then criticized you for it.

I see students like this. The professor may teach about African-American Vernacular English, carefully explain that not all African-Americans speak this dialect, and that many speak standard English, and further explain that not everyone who speaks this dialect is African-American. He will also explain that one’s dialect is no indication at all of one’s intelligence. The next day some student will go to the department head and complain that, “He said blacks talk stupid!” You’re not as bad as this, Alan, but you do the same kind of thing.

Just a minute! You are the guy making generalizations by the way you keep giving anecdotal evidence of this person or that. That’s my whole point. You base your comments on this person you know, that person you’ve met. So please don’t accuse me of generalizations. And as for my account of being in the Tower of London in the army, how can that possibly be misconstrued? It is intended as nothing but an accout of a unique experience.



I feel I can’t let this diatribe go without defending myself and so I have made comments in BOLD CAPITALS
Jamie has written:

I find your comments quite out of order and offensive. If you are unable to accept my jibes and I make these jibes with the sole purpose of stimulating further discussion, I would recommend that you ignore them but please don’t make unpleasant remarks about me personally as your response.


I`m not a single mother… but I am a woman and I am an owner of a company. Hm. And I have to say that it is extremely stressful sometimes, time-consuming… If I had a child, I think it would be impossible for me, to do the things I am doing now. From a stupid ad to an interesting lesson. :slight_smile:

:o and singing:
Give Peace a Chaaance, Give Peace a Chance!!! Please?

I’m the one who should be upset and angry! What do I come home to, after having had to cancel my afternoon classes to take my son to hospital, fearing a broken wrist after a fall (luckily, it only turned out to be tendinitis)? This thread!!! Or rather, the way it has turned.

Surely no human being, be it a man or a woman, can cope with a demanding, full-time, high-pressure job, having to run a house and to bring up one or more children at the same time – even if there are two parents and they both equally share all duties and responsibilities, which must be extremely rare, if such an ideal concurrence exists at all.

In our so-called first world, we may not have to suffer female circumcision or other abominable man-imposed practices of this kind, but we still have to struggle for equality and against gender discrimination, oppression and violence. And put up with infuriating prejudices and male chauvinism born of ignorance.

Even in a country like Sweden, which has come a long way towards gender equality, there is still a long way to go:


Hi Conchita

I wish your son a speedy recovery. Hopefully he’s not in too much pain and is also following the doctor’s orders. (I know only too well that patients often don’t like doing that. ;)) How old is he? And what does his injury mean for you (and for how long) in terms of “extra work”?

I found your post to be quite good. I also thought about posting, but I’ve discussed this topic so many times in the past, I guess I’m just tired of it. (Sorry, Torsten. :cry:) But I was glad to see the posts from you and Karina. :smiley:


Thanks for your good wishes, Amy. My son is 17. He and his wrist seem to be just fine now. He has no more pain and just needs to keep the bandage on for a few days, rest his arm and keep it elevated (which he has simply ignored today!).

As far as this thread’s main subject goes, it has indeed been discussed (and fought over!) to exhaustion and even ad nauseam. These exchanges are probably futile at best, since the eternal gender battle, as that between good and evil, is bound to be interminable. And yet I willingly take the bait time and time again!