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Men and Women Leadership
Leadership entails working with people in the fast-changing and complex world to make a difference (Pava 3). The society needs sustainable and flexible organizations constituting of individuals. Leadership concerns mobilization of people on tackling tough issues, and it is embedded in everybody. The key to leadership is an ability to unlock the personal potential that instills courage to attempt the uncertain. People have different perspectives on leadership in the male and females with distinguished gender-based differences or no differences in their styles (Paustian et al. 14). Historically, there has been a perception that men are better leaders than women. This negative perception has a traditional gender stereotype reinforcement. Studies demonstrate the value of masculine characteristics disregard to feminine characteristics (Handley et al. 96). It is critical to have recognition of how roles in diverse occupational settings in addition to positive reinforcement tendency, democracy, and competition influence both male and female leadership (Paustian et al. 16).
Research on leadership distinguishes gender from sex whereby the former is viewed as culturally labeled male and female qualities, while the latter is attributed to biological characteristics. Qualities of males in leadership include; aggressiveness, confidence, analytical, ambitious, logical, decisive, rational, assertive, impersonal, objective and opportunistic (Fergusion and Todd 411). They are distinguished from the feminine gender qualities that are as follows; emotional, intuitive, tactful, talkative, submissive, receptive to ideas, warm, cooperative, gentle, empathetic, sensitive, and expressive (Ferguson and Todd 413). Women believe less in their abilities as well as being capable to communicate confidence. For instance, research reveals that many females consider themselves to have similar capability as their subordinates, unlike the males who perceive themselves superior to their co-workers (Paustian et al. 16). Women are social risk takers due to high social sensitivity, and can easily deal with social uncertainty. They are good at facial expression recognition and can understand intentions of others. In addition, women show greater emotional intensities compared to men, especially when handling negative situations (Fergusion and Todd 414). In cases where men react through actions, women respond through feelings. Hence, men are considered overconfident and optimistic.
Gender role is perceived to influence the leadership style. Task-oriented leadership style has been associated with masculinity and relationship-oriented leadership in the feminine. According to Alonso et al., (147), gender dimensions impact the essence of tasks in the lives of people. As the men show dominion in the positions of leadership, another research suggests that females occupying leadership positions, display differing styles to males (Ferguson and Todd 413). In a literature review on female leadership, Tate, Geoffrey and Liu Yang (78) concluded that among leaders, women had a tendency of democracy compared to men who demonstrated autocratic leadership style. They also reported the existence of transformational leadership within the females. The qualities of the male gender are oriented towards the transactional and task-oriented approach to leadership. Research supports femininity to positively correlate to transformational leadership developed by female values (Northouse 32). Women through their transformational leadership inspire, coach the subordinates and put emphasis on teamwork. Men usually order subordinates, solve problems when they are severe and are uninvolved in teamwork (Fergusion and Todd 415).
Leadership similarities in men and women
In contrast, some researchers have declared insignificance in gender diversity between men and women in their leadership behaviors. Handley et al. (100) analyzed previous research studies on leadership and found similarity in men and women leadership behaviors. Further Abubakar, Hassan, and Robert (18) having undertaken various studies summarized on the idea of ‘no difference’ in the leadership styles, competencies, and effectiveness in male and females. They demonstrated the presence of more similarities than differences; hence, they are equally effective in their research (Fergusion and Todd 417). Unlike other researchers, they found that women leaders delegate less in comparison with the men counterparts but their participative, directive and consultative styles of leadership were similar (Abubakar, Hassan and Robert 18). The approaches to gender reforms which the liberal feminism represents affirm that gender diversity is not based on biology. It further states that both male and females should be given similar opportunities (Pava 7).
Leadership is the act of working with individuals, teams or organizations through guiding them to accomplish a common task. There is a need for sustainable and flexible organizations aided by good leadership (Pava 3). The society perceives leadership differently in both gender categories. Traditionally men are believed to display better leadership compared to women (Paustian et al. 17). Male leaders have qualities such as; aggressiveness, confident, objective and assertiveness, while women are emotional, tactful, submissive, receptive to ideas, intuitive and talkative (Fergusion and Todd 413). This in-built disparity in qualities is what aids them in leadership. Many kinds of research indicate that females demonstrated relationship-oriented, democratic and transformational leadership styles, contrary to males who execute task-oriented and transactional styles of leadership (Northouse 32). Gender diversity has nothing to do with the form of leadership practiced. Men and women can lead equally and effectively.
Abu Bakar, Hassan, and Robert M. McCann. “Workgroup diversity: surface-level actual
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Alonso‐Almeida, Maria del Mar, Jordi Perramon, and Llorenc Bagur‐Femenias. “Leadership
styles and corporate social responsibility management: Analysis from a gender perspective.” Business Ethics: A European Review 26.2 (2017): 147-161.
Ferguson, Todd W. “Female leadership and role congruity within the clergy: Communal leaders
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Handley, Karen, Anne Ross-Smith, and Sue Wright. “The Same or Different: How Women Have
Become Included in Corporate Leadership in Australia.” Inclusive Leadership. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018. 93-124.
Northouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications, 2018.
Paustian-Underdahl, Samantha C., Lisa Slattery Walker, and David J. Woehr. “Gender and
perceptions of leadership effectiveness: A meta-analysis of contextual moderators.” Journal of applied psychology 99.6 (2014): 11-29.
Pava, Moses. Leading with meaning: Using covenantal leadership to build a better organization.
St. Martin’s Press, 2015.
Tate, Geoffrey, and Liu Yang. “Female leadership and gender equity: Evidence from plant closure.” Journal of Financial Economics 117.1 (2015): 77-
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