Susan Nolen-Hoeksema was a professor of psychology at Yale University, and her research supports that women really do have four special strengths:
1. Emotional Strengths
Women have strong emotional intelligence that enables them to understand their own feelings and those of others. They use this understanding to better cope with life. These emotional strengths makes them skilled at making major decisions because they can anticipate the emotional consequences of their life decisions.
2. Relational Strengths
Women have a tremendous ability to connect with other people. During stressful times they turn to their strong social networks for support. They also use their relational strengths to inspire others to give their best and to work towards a common good.
3. Mental Strengths
Women have a unique flexibility of mind that helps find creative solutions to problems. And they’re not at all precious about it being done their way; just as long as it gets done.
4. Identity Strengths
Women have a strong sense of their values and identity. This helps them to deal with change and uncertainty because their sense of themselves isn’t dependent on what they do, what they have or who they are.
Further studies[i] have also identified that these four strengths assist women equally at home and in the workplace. They can communicate the values, purpose and importance of an organisation. They are optimistic and excited about their organisation's goals and inspire others to be just as enthusiastic. They focus on the development and mentoring of others and on their individual needs. They gain the respect and loyalty of others.
This isn’t about arguing over whether women are better than men. And it’s not about man bashing. It’s about putting forward some facts that show women have many strengths that are of significant worth, in the hope that more women will stop under-valuing themselves. I have seen so many women at their lowest point who still dig a little deeper to go on regardless of every instinct telling them to stay in bed. Women are so incredibly strong and morally courageous and I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate each and every one of you.
I am blessed to be surrounded by many women whom I admire, respect and model from. My mother, like so many women of her generation, has been an exemplar of these unique strengths.
I encourage all women to celebrate their genetic gifts and be empowered by them. And for men to embrace and engage with these strengths. When men and women unite their strengths together, that's when real progress is made.
[i] . Psychologist Alice Eagly of Northwestern University compiled 45 studies comparing the leadership styles of men and women