How Gender Makes a Difference in Leadership

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How Gender Makes a Difference in Leadership
How Gender Makes a Difference in Leadership
Temira Ricks
Webster University

How Gender Makes A Difference in Leadership

Leadership has been defined in many ways. One can say that it is the process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Another definition is the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how it can be done effectively and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish the shared objectives. Both of these definitions of leadership use the word influence and both agree that the overall objective is to achieve goals. Neither distinguishes leadership in terms of gender. In this paper, I am looking into what constitutes leadership and how gender makes a difference. The labor market has been and continues to be highly segregated by sex. Females remain in concentrated positions that have traditionally been held by women, and they continue to be underrepresented in jobs that are considered “masculine,” as well as in higher positions (Dean, Mills, Roberts, Carraher, and Cash, 2009). Female managers operating in male-dominated environments are expected to utilize leadership styles that conform to masculine cultures to maintain their status. Competitiveness, hierarchical authority, and emphasis on control are characterized as “masculine modes of management along with being aggressive, ambitious, dominant, self-confident, and individualistic. The feminine mode of management is associated with being compassionate for others. This includes being affectionate, helpful, friendly, kind and sympathetic as well as interpersonally sensitive, gentle, and soft spoken (Peters, 1990)

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