Leadership - Does Gender Matter

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Running head: WHEN IT COMES TO LEADERSHIP, DOES GENDER MATTER?

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MGMT 605 – Leadership

When it Comes to Leadership, Does Gender Matter?

Does gender affect the ability of an individual to become an effective leader? Some researchers believe that effective leaders are just born while others believe that effective leadership can be learned. But few of these researchers discuss the difference that gender may make in becoming good leaders. When we take a look back through history, we can see that the evaluation of women leaders was slow. Today, only 2.4 percent (Gettings, Johnson, Brunner, & Frantz, 2009) of the Fortune 500 Company 's are lead by women which is an increase from the 1.2 percent (www.money.cnn.com) of female Chief Executive Officers in 2002. The gender differences in the corporate world posses several issues for the Human Resource Managers such as management style differences, pay equity, promotion fairness, and work-life balance.

Women began entering the workforce in the late 1800s. During that time, women were employed in what society considered female specific careers such as teachers, nurses, and seamstresses and women made up a very small portion of the workforce. This all changed with the on-set of World War II. While the men left to fulfill their military obligations, women stepped up to the plate and filled positions in industrial factories across the nation doing jobs typically performed by men. Following World War II, many females continued to work and over the decades have set career aspirations which have led them to the top. As time went on, it became obvious that the gender differences in the work place required Human Resource Management intervention.

Historically, the workplace was predominantly masculine when it came to organizational theory. Organizations were structured on centralized authority, specialization and expertise, and division of labor. Aggressive and dominating leadership styles



References: Caliper Corporation. (2005). The Qualities that Distinguish Women Leaders Frankel, Lois. (2007). See Jane Lead- 99 Ways for Women to Take Charge at Work and in Life (2009). Wonder Woman. Retrieved on 4 June 2009 from http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenceo1.html Lowen, Linda. (2007). Qualities of Women Leaders. Retrieved on 14 April 2008 from http://womenissues.about.com/od/ Northouse, P. G. (2007). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Morris, Betsy. Trophy Husbands. Fortune Magazine. (October, 2002) Stites, Janet. Equal pay for the sexes. HR Magazine. (May, 2005) (December, 2007). Retrieved on 31 March 2008 from http://fastcompany.com. Women CEOs for Fortune 500 Company 's. (2007, April) CNN Money.

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