There it is again, that word—feminist. In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2012 TEDx talk, adapted to a published essay in 2014, she relays her early justifications of the term. “At one point, I was a happy African feminist who does not hate men and likes lip gloss and who wears high heels for herself and not for men,” she says. “That word is so heavy with baggage—negative baggage.”
When we explore the socially constructed gender norms for men and women, it does not take long to recognize that the ideal behavior for men aligns with key characteristics we expect to see in leaders, while the ideal behavior for women aligns with the supporting roles. This is especially true when we outline expectations for how each gender communicates.
Our focus was on Communicating Effectively, starting with a look at gender expectations and ending with the challenge to communicate assertively regardless of gender or personal style.
This past week we completed the second of three workshops with partner Xavier University for their Alumni Women's Emerging Leaders Series.