Leadership Behaviors, Strategies to The Top, and Challenges
by Hilda Wijaya
August, 20 2010
The presence of women leaders has proven to be a significant benefit for a corporation competing in the new business era. McKinsey & Company's study on Women Matter shows the companies perform best, on both organizational and financial performances due to gender diversity and have a higher proportion of women on their management level. (Desvaux & Devillard, 2008)
This research paper begins with discussing on some leadership behaviors, which are more often applied by women than by men in the corporate world. I believe female leadership behaviors will be demanded and valued more by corporations in conjunction with the complexity of business practices in the future.
In Chapter 2, I would like to share some strategies for overcoming the obstacles that women face in the corporate world. I hope my research in this chapter can be useful for women whom want to go to the top management level.
In Chapter 3, I discuss the prices and challenges that working women face for success in the corporate world For ages, most of the working women are still struggling to overcome the discrimination in the corporate world Furthermore, women remain having the "double burden" syndrome - the combination of work and domestic responsibilities - on their shoulders.
I will close my research paper with some views for creating a well-rounded and finding balance in women's life.
Female Leadership Behaviors.
The question of whether women and men differ in leadership behaviors has been around for years. There are many researches and studies that have compared the leadership style of women and men. In this chapter, I discuss some leadership behaviors that women apply more frequently than men in the corporate world.
a. Participative decision making.
Most of the female leaders have a high belief in the participative leadership style. According to Shahani (2008), using this style is not a sign of weakness, in fact, it's a strength that your team will respect you for. Due to so many high skilled and intelligent employees in the corporate world today, the participative leadership style which is valued team work and invited other members of the team to contribute to the decision-making process is more suitable in current and future leadership style.
According to McKinsey & Company’s Study on Women Matter 2 (2007), they find that the participative decision making style is more often applied by women than by men in the corporate world. This style is also adopted by Janice Frazier-Hampton, a female director in PG&E. Janice always makes herself available for her team voicing their opinions. Her attitude is encouraged her team to take ownership and as well created a healthy working environment based on trust and mutual respect.
Several essential skills for applying the participative leadership style effectively are abilities to: encourage group values, share vision, create a healthy environment, equip the team, organize and energize, take and give feedback, and expect accountability (Shahani, 2008)
Study by Caliper also supports the fact that women leaders are more participative in decision making behavior. According to Caliper (2005), "The women leaders we studied were more interested in hearing all points of view, then making the best possible decision. The final decision did not necessarily have to be their initial point of view. They were able to read situations accurately and take in information from all sides, then make the most informed decision possible. The difference in leadership styles between men and women starts with listening. Not just listening to form your answer, but really listening, learning, reflecting, then implementing a plan that incorporates the best of everyone's ideas."
"Today, so many workers are intelligent, highly skilled...