Differences Between Male And Female Leaders Essay

Differences Between Male And Female Leaders Essay

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One topic that arises in management is the lack of female CEOs, especially in the Fortune 500. With only 26 out of the 500 being female in 2013, we question on why this is the case. Are there differences between male and female leaders? While some research argue that there are no gender differences in the leadership styles employed by men and women, others support the idea that there is a difference between male and female leaders on how they lead. By exploring the literature research on both views, we would then be able to get our own conclusion on whether there are differences.

Some of the research on gender differences in leadership styles has come to the conclusion that there are no quantifiable differences between men and women in leadership roles, but rather that leadership roles are just extremely situational. This line of literature argues that neither men nor women are better in leadership positions, but that a leadership style’s effectiveness is contingent on various features of group and organisational environments (Foels, Driskell, Mullen, & Salas, 2000). Contingency theories recognise that there is no best style of leadership, but rather “leader effectiveness depends, or is contingent on, the interaction of leader behaviour and the situation” (Riggio, 2008). This suggests that followers are as important as, if not more important than the leader in deciding which leadership style best fits the situation. The results of many of the leadership studies done were inconclusive in finding leadership differences between males and females as the male and female leaders in the study were not necessarily in similar leadership roles and therefore their leadership styles were hard to compare. This is because the researcher never ...


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...n often create obstacles for women leaders in the workplace as they are seen as relational leaders in a world comprised of primarily task oriented leadership positions. In general, roles of leadership are viewed as requiring a more goal-oriented leadership approach. As a result, women face many problems when attempting to attain and succeed in positions of leadership due to their gender. These dilemmas that female leaders face include being expected to adapt to traditionally male-oriented models of leadership, being held to different standards than men in leadership positions, and being forced to walk a fine line in the workplace when trying to conform to what is expected of them. These barriers, due to gender discrimination, put female leaders at a disadvantage, making it harder for them to truly succeed in leadership positions and be perceived as effective leaders.

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