“Do Women Make Better Senators Than Men?” So proposed the headline of a July 2013 article in National Journal. “They make up one-fifth of the body. It doesn’t look anything like parity (or America), but they believe they can do what the men can’t—namely, get things done.”
In the aftermath of the federal government shutdown, a Time magazine article described our 20 female Senators as “the only adults left in Washington.” Given the shameful state of national politics, it’s a notion that’s not easily dismissed. “Women… are responsible for passing the vast majority of legislation this year, whether it be the budget, the transportation bill, the farm bill, the Water Resources Development Act or the Violence Against Women Act. They have driven the debate on everything from derivatives reform to sexual assault in the military… They are showing how to make things happen.”
Are women naturally more collaborative, and thus more effective, in their problem-solving abilities? While the U.S. Senate is hardly the place to provide a definitive answer, it offers some compelling evidence. Whether or not you agree, there’s little question that females typically present a different leadership style than their male counterparts.
This is the third issue of iBi highlighting “women of influence” throughout the Peoria area—females who are providing especially strong leadership in our community. As you read about their extraordinary accomplishments and the paths they have taken to arrive in their current positions, you will see that we are quite fortunate to have them.
In previous years, as we spoke with these influential women, we heard that they appreciated networking with other female leaders in different areas of expertise, but were often so busy in their careers that they hadn’t had the chance. With that in mind, iBi arranged a number of informal opportunities for social networking—real, face-to-face social networking—and were pleased to see new friendships developed, new relationships created.
We also heard from readers, who said they were interested in learning more from these women, and thus was born iBi’s first Women of Influence breakfast panel, taking place on December 5th. “How have these women broken down barriers?” we ask. “And what have they learned along the way?” A big thank you to Jennifer Daly, Martha Herm, Katie McCord Jenkins, Denise Moore, Dr. Sara Rusch and Dr. Sarah Zalleck, who agreed to engage in a spirited dialogue with moderator Colleen Callahan, a “woman of influence” herself.
Do women possess special leadership talents? Whatever the answer, there’s no question the female leaders featured in these pages are role models for getting the job done. iBi