What Christian Women Leaders "Shouldn't" Want [Infographics]
by Jess Mason
Boston area Christian women leaders report that access to supportive networks — spaces for life-giving connection — is vital for healthy life balance. Our data reveal that there is a support gap for many of these leaders.
But more troubling is the discovery of a cultural validation gap, where women leaders know what support they need, but their culture is telling them that strong leaders “shouldn’t” need that kind of support.
The infographics below capture these support and cultural validation gaps.
The first infographic captures the negative lens, answering: What kinds of support are these women perceiving their culture saying healthy leaders “shouldn’t” need?
What Leaders “Shouldn't” Need
The second graphic captures the positive lens — this is the ask from Christian women leaders: What kind of support would help women leaders toward healthy life balance? Notice the substantial overlap between the disregarded/forbidden kinds of support in the first graphic and the desired kinds of life-giving connection in the second.
What Christian Women Leaders Want More of
The final graph tallies these same requests for life-giving connections by category, which may suggest a relative weight of urgency or felt need.
By far the most requested kinds of support fell into the category of “grace spaces” — opportunities to be transparent, accepted and not judged. Christian women leaders would value more opportunities to be open about their weaknesses, their doubts, and their failures without concern for undermining their effectiveness as a leader.
The second most requested kind of support included encouragement and strategies related to gender-based challenges.
Perhaps in connection to both of the top two concerns, women also craved the opportunity to share stories with other Christian women leaders — including stories of failure and redemption.