Mar 22, 2013

A portrait of Stephanie Jobs

By Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin, Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

If Steve Jobs had been a woman, she would have probably been named Stephanie and would have started and co-founded Apple in her family’s kitchen, not in her family’s garage. Stephanie Jobs would have completed her bachelor’s degree and continued to obtain a PhD. She would have postponed marriage to avoid the hassle of balancing work and family life. She would have started her career in a male-dominated division of an IT-company and would have become the first woman to rise to its top CEO position. She would have been a dynamic, visionary and charismatic leader driving the company to greatness.

As a leader, Stephanie would have worked extremely hard, moved very fast and made creative decisions. While Steve was job-centered, she would have neglected neither her employees nor their families. Stephanie would have used the same presentation style for launching her Apple products to motivate and instill in her employees, particularly women, the need for achievement, power and affiliation, while meeting the goals of their personal lives. She would have used her CEO position and charismatic leadership style to help her workers identify with her on the emotional level, including sharing her battle with cancer. She would not have dared to be different, and would have made decisions outside the normal rules .

«As a leader, Stephanie would have worked extremely hard, moved very fast and made creative decisions»

In business, as in life, she would have cooperated rather than competed. She would have been very focused and clear in what she wanted, pouring her ideas into her products with passion and intensity. All these would have been part of her perfectionism in creating the most beautiful and highly-sought after consumer products, as well as leading one of the most successful technology companies in the world today.

If Jobs had been a woman, she would have paid more serious attention to her health. After being diagnosed with cancer, she would have stepped away from Apple and devoted her life to her family and charity. She would have developed a Foundation and devoted her talents and genius to solving incurable diseases, environmental problems and human conflicts around the world. If Steve Jobs had been a woman, she would not only made our world more beautiful with iPods, iPads, iTunes, Macintosh and Pixar Movies, but she would have also used her products to make our world a safer place to live in.

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