Purpose – The purpose of this two part article is to discover why gender plays a significant role in attaining leadership positions. More specifically this article provides a thorough review of the different gender leadership styles, next it outlines the findings regarding whether one gender is more effective than the other on certain dimensions. The article presents the findings of how certain leadership perceptions have evolved. Finally the article will review the challenges faced by women in business contexts. Design/methodology/approach – The authors reviewed a wide array of published works on “gender and leadership” to gain insight on this broad topic. Next, the authors narrowed down their review to focus on four specific aspects of the said topic: gender leadership styles, gender effectiveness on certain dimensions, leadership perceptions and challenges women face. Findings – The literature on the reviewed four aspects suggests that the most effective leadership style is transformational leadership – the style of leadership that is most often associated with women. It was also found that certain behavioral traits found in female managers are considered to be more effective when dealing with employees, such as empathy, supportiveness, and relationship building. However, there are other traits such as vision where male managers tend to rank better than female managers. Research limitations/implications – The use of a literature review may be perceived as limiting but the scope and breadth of contemporary data and empirical finding utilized in this article has more than compensated for this issue. Practical implications – The number of working women has and continues to increase, yet the number of women in senior positions of organizations remains nearly unchanged as women are still perceived as inferior leaders when compared to men. Social implications – Furthermore women are perceived as being less capable than men in leadership roles, thus hindering their aspirations to climb the corporate ladder. What is more, women also find themselves struggling with issues such as the glass ceiling and glass cliff effect as well as balancing both motherhood and career obligations, limiting their workplace advancements. Originality/value – This paper is a useful source to provide arguments as to how and why women demonstrate excellent managerial skill sets. Also, the ill‐conceived communication silos regarding the perceived notion that women are deemed inferior leaders when compared to their male counterparts are challenged.
Industrial and Commercial Training – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 25, 2013
Keywords: Women managers; Leadership styles; Gender; Leadership perceptions; Leadership; Women
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