Think HBR

Traits of femininity: An underrated skill set in business

Scott Douglas
SiDCOR Chartered Accountants
I am writing this just days after Donald Trump was voted in as American president. A campaign that seemed to be maligned by racism and misogyny, turned into a remarkable victory for Trump.
I’ll leave others to their judgements of that, but one of the points made out of the election result was that the US was not ready for a female president.
Whether true or not, what was evident to me was that Hillary Clinton tried to underplay her gender, and at times played Trump’s game.
We have seen it many times also in business, with the well versed belief that to get into the C-suite, women need to mirror their “ballsy” male counterparts, or miss out to the boys’ club altogether.
Although results like the US election may echo that sentiment, I take a different view. There are certainly characteristics that we associate with masculinity and femininity, however they have little to do with being male or female, as they are in all of us.
I recall seeing two amazing women at speaking events, one being Samantha Gash, a former lawyer come ultra-marathoner, and the other being Carolyn Creswell, founder of Carmen’s.
Both of these women were strong, courageous, committed and competitive who also displayed authenticity, vulnerability, grace and compassion.
Some of these characterises we attach to masculinity, others to femininity, however my experience of women in my life is that they are all those traits, and bring great value to any relationship they are in, role they may hold, or business they may lead.
If we had seen more of those characteristics from Hillary, there may have been a different result.
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Scott Douglas4 Scott Douglas
The CEO at SiDCOR Chartered Accountants, has over 20 years’ experience in accounting and taxation, having begun his career with international accounting firm KPMG. With extensive experience in a variety of industries and with all types of businesses from local entrepreneurs to national organisations, Scott is perfectly suited to provide solutions needed to minimise tax and maximise wealth. Scott has a Bachelor of Commerce from Newcastle University and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.