Clinton displays positive leadership tactics despite mainstream media criticism

Sarah Simon, Views Editor

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This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

In a culture where women who seek leadership positions face subversion, it’s no surprise that Hillary Clinton receives gendered backlash for her presidential campaign.

The backlash Clinton struggles with, however, seems to be directly contradicting the support and admiration coming from her close associates and staff. It is important that voters understand differences in leadership styles and deconstruct the negative public perception of Clinton.

Women have little representation in high leadership positions. A 2015 Ernst & Young study found that fewer women work as CEOs of large companies than men named John. Considering this gross disconnect, there is little surprise when the media deems Clinton “untrustworthy.”

Clinton’s staff describe her as a listener. She is attentive and considerate. She pays attention and remembers. One staff member reported that every few months, Clinton would look back at stacks and stacks of notes she had taken over months of interviews and campaign events, organize them and follow up with people. Her leadership style is simple — listen, remember and act accordingly.

There’s a common stereotype that women leaders take care, while men leaders take control. Looking at leadership styles in practice, there’s a good amount of evidence in support of this.

A 2003 study by the American Psychological Association found that men fit into the category of “transactional leadership” while women typically employed “transformative leadership.” Transactional leadership styles rely on systems of rewards to reinforce standards. Transformational leadership leads by encouraging respect and pride from employees. Typically staff under a transformational leader are happier and more loyal to the company.

Clinton’s staff is for the most part extremely loyal to her. They regard her with respect and describe her as “brilliant,” “thoughtful” and “funny.” These qualities all point towards transformational leadership.

This, along with other evidence, shows that Clinton’s leadership style has been successful and would be well-suited to the role of president. The fact that Donald Trump attacked Clinton’s temperament at the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 indicates that the actual issue with Clinton is not whether she is equipped to lead a country, but what gender she identifies as.

Sarah is a sophomore at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected]