Gender and Leadership

Gender and 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 Coos by Grosbeak and Connelly (2013) drew some interesting facts about women and leadership.

First of all, the past CEO of Avon, 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 traveling 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 blabs 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 exclusion from networks, which as explained later is essential for development of leadership. Inclusive culture suggests that regardless of differences, personal development can be attained with the correlation of it with the goals of the company and that contribution Is valued.

However, as with the case of Jim Turkey, who unintentionally failed to respond to suggestions by three females, Inclusive ultra is not necessarily fully implemented in organizations. The position of female leaders Dad Igniting (2013) states that women are ‘depressingly underrepresented’ higher up in the hierarchy. The article suggests (citing Sherry Sandburg) that women themselves are not yet fully prepared, in a sense, for higher level management positions. Anne-Marie Slaughter (cited in Igniting) even suggests some radical changes to society for progress In this field.

Ely, et. Al (cited In Igniting) show reasons to the gap between the genders in leadership. The paper by Ely, et. Al. Talking about he barriers present for women talks about how as opportunities and capabilities grow, chances arise to take on challenging tasks. These tasks allow one to work in new ways and a lack of them, they argue, diminishes confidence and personal development. Further study into another paper by the same authors revealed strong Development of female leadership Ely, et. Al (2013) suggest three initiatives to develop female leadership.

According to them, a finding showed that women are discriminated without them even realizing and admitting to it. Gender bias, they state, is stereotypical. The first initiative Hereford is to have these biases known. Once people are aware of its existence, they are likely to change it. There is evidence to show the initiative’s effectiveness as well as implications. Carols Shown of Ionians, for example, showed his disapproval of gender bias in the previously talked about interview with leaders. The second initiative is to “create safe ‘identity workspace’. This is basically aimed at creating what may be called a friendly environment for women to participate and be involved in. Doing so is suggested to be beneficial as women will be willing to take risks and participate without the anxiety of being Judged. Seeing development efforts in the light of leadership over gender perception is the final initiative. Development, when related to leadership as opposed to distinguishing and noting gender biases allows women to focus on goals over rejection of stereotypically ‘male’ methods. With this, females can aim at developing themselves.

Further, the authors argue, this can help develop connections which are vital given women’s avoidance of networking. Further research Impacts on employees and organizations Male workers are clearly in an advantageous position considering the stereotypical and subliminal preference in organizations. Women on the other hand fall behind given that they are not necessarily preferred for promotions and more specifically as leaders. Eagle and Johnson (1990) suggest that subordinates do not generally accept women as leaders. This is also supported by Ely, et. L (2011, 2013) When it comes to female subordinates, Eagle and Hall in their separate researches (cited in Eagle and Johnson, 1990) state a group of women (opposed to men) can be seen expressive, friendly, pleasant and socially sensitive. Research suggests (Eagle, et. Al, 2003) women use more of transformational leadership (changing’s. Erg, 26/12/13) than men. This means that employees are recognizes more for their efforts. This is motivating according to Herbert (cited in Stepson and Farnsworth, 2010) Leadership style Women, as leaders may be stereotypically associated with democratic leadership.

This is further suggested by Eagle and Johnson (1990) who advocate the involvement of subordinates in decision making for acceptance of women as leaders. Women are also likely to use transformational leadership as stated earlier. Adding to this, Robbins & Judge (2007) suggest women are better at leading contemporary organizations as opposed to males who are better with structure and control. Leadership theories They also cite Russell, et. Al on females describing effective female leaders as showing high consideration as well as high initiating structure.

Referring this to the Ohio State studies, (Robbins and Judge, 2007) women are thus better leaders in the eyes of women themselves. Taking cognitive resource theory by Fiddler (Robbins and Judge, 2007) into consideration, the higher propensity for women to ruminate (discussed later) is a clear disadvantage. Women, relating to this assumption to dervish, may be too ‘cognitively taxed’ to lead effectively. The stresses of over advantages in terms of experience and skill in leading. Shedding further light into the realm of women and leadership is made possible with the Situational Theory.

The theory focuses on the roles of followers for the success of leaders. (Robbins & Judge, 2007) It has already been established that women describe other women as better leaders. Thus in this case, the readiness of employees and subordinates, if they are females as well, is considerable. Further strength to this argument may be given by Eagle as well as Hall’s findings (cited in Eagle & Johnson, 1990) as stated earlier. On the other hand, as discussed, females are not easily accepted as leaders (Eagle and Johnson, 1990; Ely, et. Al, 2011, 2013).

In this case, the readiness unavoidably drops as a result of incapacitate. Leadership by women thus, as evidence suggests, is most effective if subordinates are also women. Personal opinions and conclusions Though inclusive culture is not fully applied in businesses, it is most arguably not a result of intention and discrimination but more a result of bias – generated by bulimia and sociological influences. Not to anger anyone and purely as an exploration of possibilities, there may though, be a positive side to this bias. Robbins and Judge (2007) describe men as less prone to rumination – half as much in fact.

This tendency to over think causes increased analysis of past decisions, leading (they state) to depression. Age is a factor in influencing this difference in thinking habits. Rumination is seen less in males by the age of 1 1, where as the differences are smallest by the age of 65. As may be realized, this is a large proportion of age useful and used for leadership. Differences between the styles of leadership between genders may be a result of colonization. The way children are treated and expected to behave differently in childhood may contribute to difference in leadership styles they use as they grow up.

Since there are stereotypic expectations in male and female behavior, leadership behaviors and even traits may be subliminally influenced. So, are women effective leaders? It depends, what gender are they leading? Initial review on the subject suggested that female leaders were actually less effective. However, relation of female leadership to the Situational Leadership hero revealed, with further evidence, that female leadership is most effective in cases involving female subordinates. Now, this statement may seem false given the usually near equal number of male as well as female employees in most organizations.