Same-Sex Success: Why You Shouldn’t Dismiss an All-Female Environment

GenderinWorkI have never thought enough about the ‘equality of the sexes’ to become a feminist. But when I recently heard a talk by Erin Northey, a journalist from the states, concerning ‘female leadership’ I had lots of thoughts on the issue.

The truth is that equality is extremely important to people like us who carry big dreams, because equality offers us opportunities to advance ourselves and take a leap forward.

Today we live in a society that takes gender equality for granted. Women can freely take up the same jobs, education and opportunities as men and think nothing of it. And that’s great, but perhaps there is some truth in the fact that equality in bigger positions still isn’t 100% perfected.

Most people shudder at the idea of an all female work place, event or college, but the truth is that there are as many benefits to a single-gender opportunity as there are to mixed gender ones – particularly in light of the ‘inequality’ gap. And to make the best decisions for your future, you should never completely rule out an option before considering it in full before hand.

Resources, Leadership & Tolerance: The Benefits of an all Female Working Environment…

1. More Access to Significant Resources

The first female editor came from an all women’s college, as did the first woman to receive a Nobel peace prize and the first woman to be named secretary of the state in America.

The reason these women were ‘the first’ in their field is because they matured in all female learning environments, where opportunities were available to every woman there… and they were encouraged to try them.

2. Encouragement of Female Leadership

Due to the lack of male competition, most all-female institutions are looking for the biggest, the best and the brightest from the women they enroll/hire in their institutions. For this reason, you will always be surrounded by an outstanding mix of women in an all female environment: the perfect motivation for someone aiming to be outstanding themselves.

3. You Don’t have to be a Feminist

To join an all women’s college or working environment you do not have to be the next Germaine Greer. Neither do you have to burn your bra and tie it to the car park railings in the name of feminism.

The only qualities that all-female opportunities expect from you is the ability to hold your own ideas firmly and securely. To be someone who has confidence, drive and something of value to say, and to believe in your success. Isn’t this what One Life Success is all about?

One the Flip Side: The Benefits of a Mixed Gender Working Environment 

1. You’ll Leave Better Equipped for the Outside World

gender-symbolsIn the real world there are, of course, as many men as there are women and if you’ve never learned how to work with the opposite sex, chances are you won’t get very far in the real world.

Working with the opposite sex is a skill learned unconsciously by students who attend mixed gender schools and/or workplaces, and, is equally, a skill that could be potentially lost in all-women institutions.

Any skill lost, is a skill gained in the rival’s hand and thus, the lack of exposure to the opposite sex could give the ‘mixed gender graduate’ or ‘interviewee’ the upper hand in the world outside of the classroom or office.

2. Balance is a Key Skill

Empowerment and focus are traits generally displayed by all women in same-sex institutions and when applying for all-female colleges, jobs or opportunities you can guarantee these are skills you will eventually develop.

But, as always, it’s important to remember that life is about balance and often these qualities can be overwhelming to future employers and employees if they’re not balanced out by other qualities such as the ability to communicate and understand others.

Being focused, being confident, being driven is amazing. But you can’t possibly lead a team, if you don’t understand people and take the time to think of and develop a strategy,

Conclusion: Do All-Female Environments Reap the Best Leaders?

Providing an answer to this question wasn’t my motivation behind this post. My motivation behind this post was to dispel any myths you had about all-female institutions and provide you with an option to consider for the future.

Never just dismiss a chance on the face of an old-fashioned myth or principle. Always make decisions as if your life depended on it…  as most of them, actually, do.

But if I were forced into an answer, I would say yes and no. Maybe the answer depends on who you are.

Having a spotlight on the female members of a community helps women grow, and receive greater access to resources previously consumed most only by men. But setting and environment are just two of many factors of the successes we make from our lives, and chances are that these motivated women would have gone on to do amazing things whichever college or office they went to learn and work!

Before Erin’s talk I would never have considered working or learning in an all female working environment. But something I’ve come to realise is that there are many that support both natures of opportunity.

Hopefully, through this post, you have too and as your applying for higher education and work placements in the New Year, you’ll keep your options open and think about what environments would most encourage you to develop ‘leadership’.

Wrote by Aimee Hall

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