Leaders of the Pack: Women, Leadership and the Myth of Dominance Essay

Leaders of the Pack: Women, Leadership and the Myth of Dominance Essay

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Since the beginning of civilization, leadership has been synonymous with power. This intriguing behavior has producing theories and extensive literature about what, and whom, make the most suitable leaders. Plato professed that only a select few with superior wisdom were fit to lead (Cornford). Aristotle contended that leadership consisted of virtue and the art of persuasion (Stiston). The controversy lives on today. Is it nature or nurture that is responsible for this phenomena or is leadership simply a matter of sex? Despite varying opinions about what makes a leader, one thing remains clear. Throughout history, leadership has often been associated with masculinity. Are men naturally more fit lead or is male dominance merely a myth?
Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence” or the ability to “organize a group to achieve a common goal” (Chemers). Studies of leadership have produced common traits including behavior, values and intelligence. While not all leaders have the same motivation, significant relationships exist between leadership and the emergence similar traits. However, none of these common traits are explicitly male or female. Despite having an impressive track record, women of power are greatly out numbered by male leaders on the historical timeline. Even at the height of the twenty-first century, women seem to be the vast minority when it comes to occupying leadership positions. Women’s absence from these roles generates controversy because there is still a lack of consensus that the problem exists at all.
At the beginning of 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the United States reached a new record of more than 317 million people, nearly half of which are women (United States Census Bureau...


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...cles on Women Cross- Culturally. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1980. Print.

Neve, Jan-Emmanuel De, Slava Mikhayloy, Christopher T. Dawes, Nicholas A. Christakis, and
James H. Fowler. “Born to Lead? A Twin Design and Genetic Association Study of Leadership Role Occupancy.” The Leadership Quarterly 24.1 (2013): 45-60. Print.

Plato, and Fancis Macdonald Cornford. The Republic of Plato. London: Oxford UP, 1945. Print.

Seigle, Jessica. "Secrets of the Bonobo Sisterhood." Ms. Magazine (2005): n. pag. Liberty Media. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.

Shaitly, Shahesta. “Is China’s Mosuo Tribe the World’s Last Matriarchy? | Life and Style | The Observer.” Latest News, Comment and Reviews from the Guardian | Guardian.co.uk. N.p., 19 Dec. 2010. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.

Siston, Alejo Josè G., Ph.D. Leadership, Character and Virtues from an Aristotelian Viewpoint. Web. 26 Apr. 2014




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