Will more women in prominent positions change the power structure?

Doing Power Differently

By Jim Hilton, professional agrologist and forester, retired
The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
December 5, 2020
2020 has been a year of unexpected changes. In the forest industry, we saw some of the highest lumber prices ever in spite of economic collapse in many sectors due to the pandemic. A recent announcement by the premier about his new cabinet saw Katrine Conroy as the first woman appointed as minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development. Eleven women hold positions in the 20-member cabinet. Some other notable women already in senior forest positions in B.C. were Diane Nicholls, who become the province’s newest chief forester in 2016, and Susan Yurkovich who took on the position of president and CEO of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries. …With many important positions now occupied by women, what can we expect to change in the political, scientific and business world, as well as in the home?


Elizabeth Lesser, author of Cassandra Speaks, believes that if women’s voices had been equally heard and respected throughout history, humankind would have followed different principles of exercising power that value caretaking, compassion and communication over aggression and violence.

For example:

1. Strong/ weak hierarchy model replaced with a partnership model.

2. Authoritarian replaced with interactive.

3. Collaborates competitively replaced with collaborates connectively.

4. Values individualism, fortitude and action replaced with values relationships, empathy and communication.

5. Withholds praise and encouragement replaced with generous with praise and encouragement.

6. Denies one’s own mistakes and vulnerability replaced with transparency about mistakes and vulnerability

7. Dominates, interrupts, overrides replaced with listens, processes and includes.

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