Women in Leadership: A Modern Reality

Women in Leadership: A Modern Reality

Leaders can come from all walks of life. Regardless of their gender, race, religion, More women are making an impact in the world today. The first successful woman leader in the world to lead a country was Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Ceylon. She led her party to victory at the 1960 general election, marking the start of women leadership and proving that women are as capable leaders as men.

Studies suggest that some women are indeed better leaders too. According to research presented in the Harvard Business Review, women were rated more positively on 13 of the 19 competencies in overall leadership effectiveness, such as taking initiative, making decisions, and establishing stretch goals.

Perhaps women leaders are becoming more popular. Many are imperative and huge contributors to our society today. Companies have made breakthroughs under the leadership of women. Kathrin Janson, Head of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer and Senior Vice President, led a 650-people, to create one of her most major and recent inventions – the BNT162b2 vaccine against COVID-19.

 Kathrin Janson, Head of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer and Senior Vice President

Another notable woman leader, also known as the first female vice president of the United States of America and highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, you guessed it, would be none other than Kamala Harris. Harris had accepted President Joe Biden’s invitation to become his running mate and help unite the nation on August 11, 2020. Before she was appointed, she had started off as a deputy district attorney who achieved success in her field. Harris is an inspiration to young women. You do not have to be afraid to voice your opinion. As a female, you can make a difference so long as you make a relentless pursuit for your dreams.

Ever needed to create a logo or a poster for your company’s advertisements? With Canva, any amateur could make their posters look professional in minutes, with thousands of templates that they can choose from. So, how did Canva come about to become a giant in the marketing and design industry? Meet Melanie Perkins, Co-Founder, and CEO of Canva. In 2007, Melanie Perkins contrived an idea while attending The University of Western Australia, which was to build an online tool that would empower anyone to create great designs regardless of their experience. This crazy, big idea (also the aim of modern Canva) eventually came to fruition in 2013, after much rejection and scepticism by investors. Under Perkins’ leadership, within a matter of years, Canva managed to grow and boasts of 55 million monthly users now.

There are indeed many qualities from the above examples that aspiring young students like me can learn from. 

  1. These women are not daunted by setbacks. They dare to dream big. Kamala Harris is a woman who fights for what she thinks is right without thinking twice of losing what people would deem as a ‘comfortable position’. Melanie Perkins relentlessly chased her goal despite the odds experienced while raising funds for her company. And Pfizer-BioNTech was one of the first in the race for a successful COVID-19 vaccine under the astute leadership of Kathrin Jansen.
  2. Not giving up even though everything and everyone seems to be against them. Kamala Harris fended pressure from the administration of  Barack Obama to settle a nationwide lawsuit against mortgage lenders for unfair practices, and pressed on to California’s case. In 2012, she won a judgment five times higher than that originally offered instead. Melanie Perkins did not back down even when investors rejected her ideas and in her third year of business, she managed to land an investment that would allow her to grow Canva into prominence. Kathrin Jansen not only championed a vaccine within such a short period of time but she did so with limited information on the virus and gave hope to the world.

Rosalynn Carter once said, “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” Her words continue to resonate with many leaders today. And as I pen off, it is also possible that a female out there has conceptualised an idea that will make a large difference to the world one day.

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