Gender and Leadership

Topics: Leadership / Pages: 7 (1692 words) / Published: Mar 29th, 2014
Gender and leadership
Leadership is the act of directing, motivating and managing a group of people towards a shared goal. Tasks often requiring leadership are generally complex and large. Leadership is used in these instances to avoid chaos and maintain a clear direction of work along with the management of time.
Going back to nature into the most limbic slice of the brain, males are generally seen more direct and more involved in their approach to leadership. Little less than a century ago, this might have been almost inarguable. With the rise in the feminist theory in the field of sociology, women have been seen ever advancing in power and involvement in decision making across diverse sectors – this in reference not only to businesses.
The natural curiosity generated by this kind of development unsurprisingly interested researchers to clarify and derive conclusions. Three key papers were provided and referred to in writing this post.
Interviews with leaders
An interview with 24 CEOs by Groysberg and Connolly (2013) drew some interesting facts about women and leadership. First of all, the past CEO of Aovn, Andrea Jung shows evidence of gender based bias in reference to leadership. She notes how she was not expected to be a CEO in meetings outside her organization. This goes a long way to show that women are not necessarily seen as leaders by the general masses.
Similarly arguable perceptions are made based on their role in families. A major chunk of the blame goes to the expectations placed on them. Positions requiring a lot of travelling are perceived to be inappropriate for females given their role as care takers for families (carefully stating) especially in Asia.
The bias goes to such an extent that even racial discrimination is compared to be less significant.
The argument on bias is further supported by the fact that only 4% of the Fortune 500 companies are led by females as stated in the paper. Barriers for women is argued to be a result of their

References: Papers provided for study: Where are the female leaders? Ignatius Adi, Harvard Business Review, Sep2013, Vo.91 Issue 9,p12-1. Women rising: The Unseen Barriers, Ely,R., Harvard Business Review, Sep2013, Vo.91 Issue 9, p60-8. Great Leaders Who Make the Mix Work, Goysberg, Boris, Connolly Katherine, Harvard Business review Sep2013, Vol.91 Issue 9, p68-10.9p Further research: Ely, R.J., Ibarra, H., Kolb. , D., 2011. Taking gender into account: theory and design for women 's leadership development programs. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 10 (3), 474-493 Eagly, Alice H., and Blair T. Johnson., 1990. Gender and leadership style: A meta-analysis.. Psychological bulletin, 108 (2), 233 – 256. Changing Minds. 2013. Transformational Leadership. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 December 13]. Eagly, Alice H., Mary C. Johannesen-Schmidt, and Marloes L. Van Engen, 2003. Transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles: a meta-analysis comparing women and men. Psychological bulletin, 129 (4), 569 - 591.

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