Being a leader the relationship with gender

being a leader the relationship with gender

Larger gender gaps emerge on some of the other, less important traits. Women are much more likely than men to say that being compassionate. Section 4 Focus on Gender and Leadership: Leadership Theory, Barriers to, Gender Differences . 18 . female income is projected to be $18 trillion by. McKinsey () confirms this relationship. They find that. Historically, gender precluded most females from becoming leaders in such were less concerned with the relationship between gender and leadership per se .

Nevertheless, these small differences have statistical significance in the way men and women are perceived in leadership roles and their effectiveness in such positions, as well as their leadership styles. Agentic leaders tend to be more active, task oriented, independent and focused decision makers.

One of the main questions that the research has raised is if being relationship oriented or task oriented correspond to sex differences in leadership, where, women are likely to be more relationship oriented and men are likely to be more task oriented.

being a leader the relationship with gender

The differences between men and women may suggest evolutionary stressors that have contributed to the development of these relationship and task oriented tendencies between men and women. In fact, the term "glass ceiling" can be used to describe the hindrance women face in career advancement to top management positions. Furthermore, it has been observed that the dispositionally dominant person is more likely to emerge as a leader in same-sex dyads, but in mixed-dyads, the dominant male is more likely to emerge as leader compared to a dominant female.

Men were ranked higher in business aptitude, financial understanding, and strategic planning, which the researchers note are seen to be critical to corporate advancement. No gender differences were found in competencies such as team performance, effective thinking, and willingness to listen and no differences were found in overall effectiveness.

It would be very difficult to determine how men and women would behave once they become leaders. Additionally, though relationship orientation in women and agentic orientation in men has been observed in laboratory settings, they have not been seen in studies conducted in organizational settings [6] Differences in perception[ edit ] When studying perception and effectiveness of men and women in leadership, in multiple studies, it was found that men and women are perceived better by subordinates and are seen as more effective leaders when in positions in accordance to traditional gender roles.

Furthermore, a single male in a group is more likely to assume leadership than a single female in a group, who is likely to have less influence over the group members.

Other reasons women ascend to leadership positions less frequently than men are that women most frequently inhabit managerial positions with little power, little advancement opportunity, or where other women are so rare that their presence is attributed to their sexuality or affirmative action, or it is used as a symbol of the organization's enlightenment.

Outside their paid jobs, women usually have significant responsibility for the care of their families and home, thereby depleting the energy they might otherwise devote to the pursuit of leadership positions of consequence. Though females' early socialization and other obstacles may impede them from becoming leaders, those who do ascend do not behave significantly differently from men in the same kinds of positions.

Some studies have been able to discern differences in leadership style and managerial behavior, but most have not. The first is task accomplishment style, which is how much the leader initiates, organizes, and defines work activities and processes.

The second is interpersonal style, which is how much the leader builds morale, relationships, satisfaction, and commitment in the organization.

What Makes a Good Leader, and Does Gender Matter?

The third is decision-making style, which is how much the leader encourages a participative, democratic approach as opposed to an autocratic approach. Some studies find differences between males' and females' task accomplishment styles and interpersonal styles.

Males tended to be more task-oriented; females tended to be more relationship-oriented. These differences, however, have been observed only in men and women subjects of laboratory experiments, that is, people asked to speculate how they would behave if they were leaders. Differences disappear in studies where actual managers are compared: Moreover, experienced women managers show no differences in leadership abilities from experienced male managers.

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These women, in fact, are likely to more closely resemble their male counterparts in drive, skills, temperament, and competitiveness, than the average woman in the population. Some difference has been found in males' and females' decision making styles. According to Gary N. Powell's comprehensive study, Women and Men in Management, women tend to employ a more democratic, participative style while men tend to take a more autocratic, directive approach.

This difference has appeared in both laboratory studies and observations of real leaders. Some scholars thus argue that women's tendency to negotiate, mediate, facilitate, and communicate is the more effective leadership style than men's emphasis on power and control; and because this "feminine" style reduces hierarchy, satisfies subordinates, and achieves results, it should be the norm to which men are compared.

There is some evidence that this is occurring: During the late s medical science found a physical basis for some of these basic differences in leadership qualities. As asserted by Dorion Sagan in "Gender Specifics: Why Women Aren't Men," the structure of the female brain affords women several biological and cognitive advantages.

Women were thought better able to follow several trains of thought at the same time, while men appeared better able to focus on single topics. The other main question of concern to writers in the area of gender and leadership is whether "leadership position" is implicitly a gendered concept.

To answer this question, first one has to understand how organizations, including their leadership positions, are one place where gender is produced. In her article "Gendering Organizational Theory," Joan Acker argues that gender is part of the logic used in organizations to determine what practices will be adopted.

being a leader the relationship with gender

Because men probably do not experience the same incongruence between the male gender role and the leader role, they may be freer to lead in an autocratic manner. The fact is that each of these leadership styles has its place. If gender roles limit one's leadership style options, then effectiveness of leadership is constrained. Other leadership scholars [ 4142 ] have examined distinctions between transformational leadership styles versus transactional leadership styles.

Burns [ 42 ] defined transformational leaders as setting high standards for behavior and establishing themselves as inspirational role models by gaining trust and confidence of followers. Transformational leaders set future aspirational goals and motivate followers to achieve these goals. By mentoring followers, transformational leaders encourage followers to reach their full potential. In contrast, Burns [ 42 ] defined transactional leaders as those who establish exchange relationships with their followers and emphasize behaviors or actions.

Transformational leadership, more than transactional, has communal aspects, whereby the leader is focused on mentoring and developing followers. Of note, however, women are more likely than men to utilize the contingent award component i. Regarding leadership effectiveness, Eagly et al.

being a leader the relationship with gender

This difference may be relevant to the leadership effectiveness of people who use communal and supportive leadership styles. Transcendent leadership competencies include management skills, critical thinking, decision making, problem solving, emotional intelligence, relational skills, and the ability to influence other people [ 1 ].

being a leader the relationship with gender

Effective leaders influence people and often demonstrate excellent management skills so that followers perform optimally, work as a team, and make best use of resources, including personnel, supplies, equipment, and time [ 1 ].

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to perceive and express emotions, to use emotions to facilitate thinking, to understand and reason with emotions, and to effectively manage emotions within oneself and in relationships with others [ 46 ]. Goleman [ 4748 ] takes a broader approach to emotional intelligence, suggesting that it consists of personal and social competencies. Social competence consists of empathy and social skills such as communication and conflict management [ 4748 ].

The Hay-McBer group found that leaders with greater emotional intelligence competence were more influential than people who lacked this competence [ 49 ]. The art of influence is a leadership competency that is largely tied to the perception of leadership by others [ 1 ]. A leader's influence is the ability to motivate followers to change their behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes [ 50 ].

Yukl and Chavez [ 51 ] identified nine influence tactics that a leader may use to influence followers: Effective leadership also depends on relationship skills. In transformational leadership roles, relationships between leaders and followers are marked by a high degree of mutual trust, respect, understanding, and obligation toward each other.

There is a high degree of reciprocity between leaders and followers; each affects and is affected by the other [ 3652 ]. Gender and Competence As previously discussed, Callahan and Grunberg [ 1 ] define competence as the abilities, skills, and knowledge that transcend various leader roles, and the specific abilities, skills, and knowledge relevant to a particular leader role.

This section focuses on emotional intelligence and the art of influence. Emotional intelligence Numerous studies [ 53 — 56 ] have indicated that emotional intelligence is an important component of leadership.

Emotional intelligence increases the confidence of individuals and helps leaders and followers achieve levels of performance beyond expectations, especially when coupled with transformational leadership that emphasizes emotions and motivation [ 57 ]. A review of sex, gender, and emotional intelligence offers mixed findings [ 63 ].

Some research indicates that women may have slightly higher levels of emotional intelligence compared to men [ 6465 ]. He did find gender differences for some components of emotional intelligence; however, Goleman [ 60 ] found none. Because of the mixed results regarding gender differences in emotional intelligence and research supporting the utility of emotional intelligence for effective research, improving one's emotional intelligence will be beneficial for leadership, regardless of gender.

The art of influence A leader's influence can be defined as the ability to motivate followers to change or enhance their behaviors, cognitions, or motivations to achieve goals that benefit the individual or the group.

Influence is often considered to be a measuring stick of a leader's effectiveness. According to the Elaboration Likelihood Model [ 67 ], source characteristics e. Generally, leaders who have expertise and are likeable tend to exert greater influence than those without expertise who are unlikeable [ 68 ]. The characteristics of competence and likeability as contributors of influence have particular applicability to gender because stereotypically, women are often characterized as possessing likeable qualities and men are often characterized as possessing competent qualities [ 69 ].

People who are predominantly feminine in gender style may find themselves in a double bind when it comes to leadership and the incongruity between the stereotypical leader role and the female gender role. Women's ability to influence is often dependent on the ability to overcome this double bind, whereas men usually do not experience the social pressure to be both communal and agentic [ 70 ].

Men's historical predominance in high status roles has resulted in men generally possessing higher levels of status than women [ 69 ]. Gender differences in status are important determinants of influence because it relates to the perceived competency of the individual.

Status Characteristics Theory [ 71 ] states that an individual's status can be used implicitly to form performance expectations of self and others.

Sex differences in leadership

People presume that higher status individuals have more competence than lower status individuals and are more likely to yield to the influence of the high status individual [ 72 ]. In addition, individuals perceived as higher status are more likely to engage in agentic behaviors and are perceived as more influential [ 69 ]. Similar to previously discussed theories, Status Characteristics Theory predicts greater communal behavior by women and agentic behavior by men [ 69 ].

Because men historically have higher status, they have greater legitimacy as influence agents and are encouraged to behave agentically.


On the other hand, because of their presumed low competence, low status individuals who exhibit agentic behaviors may be perceived as attempting to illegitimately gain power and influence and, as a result, their influence is likely to be resisted [ 6973 ]. To overcome this potential resistance, lower status individuals must communicate a lack of personal gain and little desire to control, but instead convey a relational and collectivist motivation i.

It follows then that communal behavior should enhance the influence of people who are perceived to have lower status. However, cultural biases often color interpretation of competencies based on sex and Gender. For example, outstanding performance in athletic events by men is usually attributed to the male athletes themselves. In contrast, similar outstanding performance in athletic events by women is often attributed to their male coaches.

A leader should be competent and have the abilities, skills, and knowledge necessary to perform the jobs effectively.

Sex differences in leadership - Wikipedia

The Gender of the leader should not define a leader's competence on the Personal, Interpersonal, Team, or Organizational levels. Context According to Callahan and Grunberg [ 1 ], context includes physical, psychological, social, and economic environments, as well as various situations e.

being a leader the relationship with gender

The leadership context is characterized by three categories: Age, gender, individual characteristics, and culture are important contextual factors.

Effective leaders are aware of and adjust to context in a variety of ways. Ayman and Adams [ 75 ] proposed that leaders can learn to alter behaviors, to adapt so they are perceived as behaving differently, or to actively manage and change the situation.