WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP
A simple definition of leadership is that leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Put even more simply, the leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He or she is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and skills that makes others want to follow his or her direction. In business, leadership is welded to performance. Effective leaders are those who increase their companies‘ bottom lines. To further confuse the issue, we tend to use the terms "leadership" and "management" interchangeably, referring to a company's management structure as its leadership, or to individuals who are actually managers as the "leaders" of various management teams. Is a leader born or made? While there are people who seem to be naturally endowed with more leadership abilities than others, all believe that people can learn to become leaders by concentrating on improving particular leadership skills. 1. A leader plans. 2. A leader has a vision. 3. A leader takes charge
4. A leader shares her vision 5. A leader inspires through example.
When modern feminists movement emerged it dint feature much discussion of leadership. There was virtually no analysis of what feminist leadership might entail. Because leadership has been largely a privilege of men, and feminism focused on women. It is understandable that study of leadership dint have much salience. Feminists wanted to understand the women‘s experiences and routes of women‘s oppression. Psychologists is particular have neglected study of women. Therefore, new topics emerged – sexual harassment, rape, math anxiety, family violence and the politics of reproductive rights, to name just a few. To study leadership is it in organizations or in politics would have meant focusing on men. The discovery and development of women focus topics made a good sense. Much has changed. Women are now far more common in ranks of leaders. For example, women occupy 24% of chief executive positions in United States (U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics- 2006). They constitute 44% of school principles (U.S National Center for Education Statistics, 2005) and 21% of college and University presidents (Corrigan, 2002). It makes sense that feminists find the study of leadership appropriate now that it addresses the experiences of women as well as men. Although women remain rare in the corporate leadership and greatly under presented in politics, women‘s increasing presence in these and other leadership roles raises many questions about their functioning as leaders. When it comes to leadership, does gender matter? Is there a difference between women leaders and men who lead? Characteristics that distinguish women leaders from men in leadership: Women leaders are more assertive and persuasive, have a stronger need to get things done and are more willing to take risks than male leaders. Women leaders were also found to be more empathetic and flexible, as well as stronger in interpersonal skills than their male counterparts enabling them to read situations accurately and take information in from all sides.
These women leaders are able to bring others around to their point of view because they are leading feel more understood, supported and valued.
Four specific statements about women's leadership qualities: Women leaders are more persuasive than their male counterparts. When feeling the sting of rejection, women leaders learn from adversity and carry on with an "I'll show you" attitude. Women leaders demonstrate an inclusive, team-building leadership style of problem solving and decision making. Women leaders are more likely to ignore rules and take risks.
This evidence - that the leadership style of women is not simply unique but possibly at odds with what men practice - begs the question: Do these qualities have value in the marketplace? Is this type of...
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