Since the ancient times, men have been the only gender allowed to be present in important meetings and discussions. Women were seen as a nuisance because men see women as creatures that tend to act impetuously. They are seen as someone who would act based on their emotions and because of that, they cannot get anything serious done. Men think that if every action is based on one’s emotions, for example if women did to want to sign a contract with someone they did not like, then they would have missed a great chance in being able to help their company’s finance problems. Society believed that women were only suitable to be caregivers while the men were the breadwinners. But then came World War II and men went off to war. Women entered the workforce and started working “male” jobs (jobs that were considered too physically hard for them). Slowly careers such as ones in the business field had more and more women entering them. Leadership roles no longer pertained to men only, but women as well. Many women have been given more control over their own lives. They not only work but have to take care of their family also. Even though they have so many struggles, they excel in their jobs as a leader. Dr. Karrin Wilks is an example of a woman in leadership and management.
In my interview with Dr. Karrin Wilks, she talks about some challenges she had to overcome to get to where is today and how she balances everything. Wilks has a B.A. in American history with a minor in creative writing, an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. She is an Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Medgar Evers College. Before this job, she taught at a Community College for over ten years of basic writing, English composition, and creative writing, and then worked at Vermont State Colleges as Senior Vice President. She is single and widowed with three children, two daughters, ages 26 and 28, and a son, age 22, and a granddaughter. When her husband was still alive, she was working in Vermont part time and had wanted to move to New York where he worked at. Unfortunately, it did not work out as she wanted and she moved to New York only four years ago.
Growing up, her father would insist that the family have jobs, so she had jobs all throughout high school including working in offices. He died when she was young and so that
“probably had an even more pronounced effect on [her] to realize that this is sort of your one life to live (K. Wilks, personal communication, October 22, 2013).” This goes to show how women leaders seem to be more of a risk taker than men are. They take whatever chances that may be available to accomplish the impossible. Women leaders “have a stronger need to get things done and are more willing to take risks” (Caliper). Because female leaders work in a male-dominated work environment, they feel a need to be more serious and motivated than male leaders. Female leaders take more risks because they feel that there is a possibility that that risk can help the company. Even if the risk is a bad one, women leaders quickly learn from that mistake and figure out a way to fix that problem.
In order to get to where she is now, like many female leaders, Wilks had to go through some struggles and challenges. One of the struggles that Wilks had was during meetings. She mentioned how “when you are in a senior board meeting and you put forth an idea, the idea is attributed to a man. This is something that happens quite frequently (K. Wilks, personal communication, October 22, 2013).” Usually when a woman offers an idea, though it might be a great one, others might not acknowledge it. It does not sound all that great since a woman said it, but if a man was to say the same thing, the idea is accepted. This seems as if men just steal women’s idea and make it their own. But according to Turner:
Instead of consciously “stealing” a woman’s ideas, men may…