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Women and Leadership 15-16 March 2012, Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur

Women and Leadership

WOMEN HOLD UP HALF THE SKY: capitalizing on your distinctive strengths as women to lead

By Lola Chetti, 15-16 March 2012 Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur



Women are now achieving levels of education which are now surpassing those of men: in Malaysia 60% of graduates are women. Still the talents, skills and experience of women are largely untapped with only 7.6% holding senior appointments in 200 companies listed in Bursa Malaysia. In today’s knowledge based and service economy, we need to better understand how to develop leadership talent regardless of gender. We need the BEST regardless of gender. Malaysian Prime Minister's emphasized the need to have more women in decision making posts and suggested a target of 30% by 2016.


Leadership skills cannot be separated from relationship skills since the success and merit of a leader is dependent on the quality of her interaction with her collaborators and followers. There has been a shift in leadership style away from command and control to one of inspiration, motivation and energizing where the development of followers is nurtured.


Research has found that amongst different leadership styles TRANSFORMATIONAL leadership is the most effective. And women leaders demonstrate more transformational leadership skills by blending collaborative and participative behaviours and are more likely to pay attention to the development of subordinates. A study by CALIPER, a Princeton management consulting firm which has assessed the potential of   more than 2 million applicants and 25000 employees across the world and a 20000 British businesswomen’s network has found that women leaders are  more persuasive, empathetic and flexible as well as stronger in interpersonal skills than their male counterparts.


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