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Gearing Advantage

Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.

The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.

Their methods and strategies have been sharpened over the years, and are now built upon Gearing Up’s Three Gears of Change.

Breaking the Marble Ceiling - Jan 11, 2007

Breaking the Marble Ceiling

January 11, 2007

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, CBS 11 News

With cheers from Democrats, Representative Nancy Pelosi became the first female speaker of the House of Representatives. This historic event emphasizes the strides women are making in leadership. Here to tell us more is Channel 21 Contributor in Psychology, Dr. Sylvia Gearing.

Q: What does this event say about leadership for women?

Dr. Sylvia: Without a doubt, this historic event is a watershed moment for American women. Not only is Nancy Pelosi in a position never been held by a woman, she illustrates a trend that is going to increase not only in America but globally. We now live in a culture in which a doctor, lawyer or business owner can be a woman. America is experiencing the most dramatic gender shift in her history as women such as Nancy Pelosi demonstrate the gifts of female leadership. She joins Condoleezza Rice, Kay Bailey Huchinson, and Hillary Clinton as masterful women who have arrived.

Q: So this type of leadership in women will increase?

Dr. Sylvia: With 78 million baby boomers rapidly reaching middle age, this trend is only beginning. We know from historians and scientists that women become more assertive during middle age. With such a critical mass of baby-boomer women with a history of free thinking and independence coming into power, this generation is going to "explode" with leadership over the next ten to fifteen years. Women have never been better educated, more ambitious, and gifted with more opportunities to lead.

Q: So as women enter middle age, do they become better leaders?

Dr. Sylvia: Young women can be exceptional leaders, but they may lack the experience and perspective that only comes with "logging in" the years. As one author said, "menopause causes levels of estrogen to decline, unmasking women's natural levels of testosterone--the hormone associated with assertiveness and a drive for rank. They become more action oriented, confident, forthright and uninhibited." Leadership is a natural fit for women of a "certain age" since they are willing to take a stand when they need to and divorce themselves from the opinions of others when they have to.

Q: What are some of the characteristics of mature female leadership?

Dr. Sylvia:

Powerhouse Decision Makers: Decisions now originate in their experience, wisdom and critical thinking. For thousands of years, civilizations have relied on their mature women to guide the culture and the family unit while supervising the new generations of men and women.

New Directions: No longer tied to children, the highs and lows of hormonal fluctuations, and even the demands of running a busy home, women at this point are more likely to strike out in new directions and aren't shy about reinventing their lives. That is why more women then men file for divorce.

Visionaries: With better rest, more access to testosterone, and more confidence derived from a lifetime of achievement, women like Nancy Pelosi are experts at articulating a vision and sense of mission. Because of their diplomacy and people skills, they are masters at implementing that vision.

Mastery, Not Modesty: Men are educated from an early age on athletic fields and playgrounds to speak up and seize leadership. Author Gail Sheehy notes that women enter a second adulthood at age 50 that emphasizes self- expression and leadership. As one woman said, "modesty does not create opportunity." Women now move from pleasing to mastery. Women universally experience a surge of power and influence that translates into running corporations, small businesses and the government.

Multitasking Runs the World: With the global economy increasing in importance, the ability to multitask can be essential in business, diplomacy and governance. Women are brilliant at mentally assessing and assimilating an abundance of data quickly both in interpersonal settings and in business settings.

Big Picture: A man's ability to focus is usually much better than a woman's. "The male brain is much more lateralized than the female brain, meaning that each hemisphere of the brain in rigidly dedicated to doing one task or another." The female brain, although not as skilled at concentration, may be better at seeing the big picture.

Q: So what can we expect from women in the future?

Dr. Sylvia: The sky is the limit! However, I do believe that as women come into their own, they will find the men in their lives even more essential. Empowerment always increases our appreciation of the gifts of others. The combination of male and female strengths can truly change the world!