any are curious to know what it islike being a woman working inSaudi Arabia. I get queried on womendriving, women in business, multiplewives, wearing the Abaya, censorship,women’s rights and many other ques-tions.Although I have been in Saudi Arabiafor almost 3 years and have somewhatadjusted to a totally different way of life,I often reminisce about New York.My friends always say, “I don’t knowhow you can work in Saudi Arabia.” Iwould be lying if I said things are easy,but how different is Saudi Arabia fromother parts of the world when it comes towomen and leadership?In the November 2012 issue of theGuardian Newspaper, I read an articletitled “Women bishops: Church of England votes no - as it happened. TheChurch of England General Synod votesagainst allowing women to become bish-ops.” Tavia Grant, a writer at Global andMail stated that, in Toronto, Canadawomen in leadership roles are underrep-resented, from the political arenas to cor-porate boardrooms. Female visibleminorities are almost absent from top jobs.In America, we are yet to see afemale president. In an article written byDoug Guthrie, Contributor at ForbesMagazine titles, “the Logic of Women'sLeadership” he stated that it is an unfor-tunate fact of life that women often do nothave equality with men in the workplaceor in the highest ranks of power.Developed countries have their chal-lenges or resistance with women in lead-ership roles similarly to third world coun-tries. As a woman, I am appreciative thatI was given a leadership role so I take itvery seriously. Although I am ‘somewhat’trusted, I do observe being monitored.A study showed, women bosses areviewed as less competent than their malecounterparts. Leadership continues to beviewed as a culturally masculine position.I am not in a leadership role to prove mycompetences, because I realize that somemay have a preconceived idea of womenin leadership.In fact, they may not even view oracknowledge women as leaders. With thatsaid, I don’t play the ‘Iron Woman’ rolebecause that does not work well in thispart of the world or with my personality.At the same time, I do not play ‘soft.’I believe one should find a balance, beadaptable and understand the organiza-tion’s culture. Whether in Saudi or any-where else in the world I believe my lead-ership style will work, of course at timeswith adjustability.
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We need tough firearms regulations to protect people
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pril 4, 1968 will mark 45 years thatAmerica lost one of its greatest heroeswhen Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shotand killed by James Earl Ray according tocourt reports.Since then, more than 400,000Americans have been killed by guns –moreAmericans, than were killed during all of World War Two. Guns are now the mostpopular weapons used by people all over theworld.Nearly as many Americans die fromguns as from car crashes each year. In verypoor and the most wealthy neighborhoodalmost everybody is armed with at least twolicensed or illegal guns.Several weeks ago twenty Sandy HookElementary School first-graders and sixschool officials died in the Newtown shoot-ing. The killer Adam Lanza armed himself with hundreds of bullets before he enteredthe Newtown school. The gunman whokilled them had killed his mother at homebefore going to the school and later commit-ted suicide.This was a wake up call for everybodyincluding President Barack Obama whodeclared that more effective gun controlmeasures must be place to prevent the“Sandy Hook” type killings. Obama alsorecently issue an order to end researchrestrictions that "advocate or promote guncontrol."This is a positive move as for decadespolicymakers were developing policies onhow to prevent gun violence but were leftshooting in the dark as they craft gun controlmeasures without much evidence of whatworks.Having overwhelmed with gun-relatedcrimes including murder, New York State ismoving to address the issues and is now thefirst state to pass a gun control law -- thetoughest in the nation -- since the SandyHook Elementary School shooting mas-sacre.Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill intolaw on January 16 that includes stricter banon high-capacity magazines, measures totrack ammunition sales, and tougher penal-ties for gun crimes.However, thousands of gun owners ral-lied at the state Capitol in Albany onSaturday to protest the state’s tough newfirearms regulations citing various reasonsincluding the Second Amendment to theUnited States Constitution on the part of theUnited States Bill of Rights that protects therights of the people to keep and bear arms.But, the United States Constitution alsoseeks to protect the rights of everybody andto protect people from vicious and cruelattackers like Adam Lanza.Our political leaders and civil societiesmust standup to protect the people fromcriminals who choose the gun as theirweapon of choice..
Leading in a man’s world
• Dr. Neva Helena Alexander (Dr. Neva) is cur-rently a faculty member at Prince Mohammad University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia asa Coordinator for Core Humanities and SocialScience in the College of Arts and Science. Herresearch interest and specialty includes femaleleadership, leadership styles and entrepreneur-ship.
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