“Obviously a girl will win, Student Council presidents are never boys,” stated Sebastián Cavazos, a current 11th grader.
Recently, ASFM students have been under the impression that there is a trend when it comes to the gender of group presidents. In fact, 49 out of 100 high schoolers surveyed claim to believe that there are clubs that favor certain genders. One response stated that “It is not the gender that is favored, it is certain people.” In Student Council, for example, the previous four presidents have been girls. Even though fair democratic processes are ensured in most, if not all positions, many seem to believe there is a preferred gender for certain leadership positions.
The groups that have repeated patterns are Student Council, MUN, TECHO (until next year’s cabinet), CSL, Miles for Smiles, and the Green Team. However, there are also groups that show no repetition in their presidents. For instance, NHS has had no more than two consecutive years of leaders of the same gender. However, six of the eight clubs have had three or more successive boys or girls as heads.
High school students expressed their concerns about this trend. “Being a girl doesn’t give you any advantage during the electoral process, however, I do think girls are currently better suited for the job, given the perception of what StuCo should be,” 12th grader Luis Santos commented.
12th grader Luis Santos, stated. On the other hand, Ana Lucía González, CSL and StuCo coordinator, expressed the opposite. “I think that Student Council is something that is open for everyone. Girls have shown more interest in running for president in the past years. I don’t know if there is something girls want to prove or that they have more time and interest while boys may be interested in other things.” Ms. Analu commented that the working habits of boys and girls are different, but it doesn’t mean it’s good or bad. “Generally speaking, boys tend to be more logical and have a process of working that is different from girls.”
Until now, in TECHO there had not been one female CEO. René Martínez, 2018-2019 head, confirmed that “the executive team and I chose Nadia as the next Techo CEO because she was the best person for the job, regardless of her gender. We never had in mind the fact that she was a girl, that was not a factor we even considered.” When talking about the fact that all previous Techo CEO’s were men, he commented that “I would like to think that the past four presidents were chosen because they were the best option, not because of their gender. Also, not many girls were interested in becoming CEO. In fact, prior to Nadia, there hadn´t been a presidential candidate who was a girl.”
Federico Derby, former MUN Secretary-General from the class of 2015, expressed that there have been streaks of both gender. “Prior to the all-girl SG’s in MUN were four boys.” He added that there is nothing in the job description that favors any gender for a specific position.
Marissa Aguilar, MUN advisor expressed that gender doesn’t matter to her. “For me, every single human is capable, as long as there is respect and chemistry we will be able to work together. Personally, I’m closer to boys but somehow I have been blessed with the ladies that have been the past Secretary-Generals.”
These trends have also been reflected in administrative positions in this school because although both men and women have worked as assistant principals, there has never been a female superintendent. “One of the reasons that we have never had a woman lead ASFM is because of the timing,” explained HS assistant principal Eva Lamadrid. “Apart from this, there is the fact that only men have applied for the job, I have never seen women apply.”
There is no clear evidence that one gender is better suited to be president of any club. It is encouraging to see that what matters is not being a man or a woman, but rather the most qualified for the position in question.