Gender in Leadership
“Gender [Sex] has no relevance to leadership style or effectiveness.”
Do you agree, disagree, or fall somewhere in between with this statement? Explain your rationale. Remember to have a healthy discussion and to support your ideas with material from the book or other resources. You are welcome to use examples but avoid real names of people or organizations. Be respectful in your statements.
f the options and the information timeliness.
Gender and Leadership
The discussion on whether gender and sex have anything to do with leadership or even leadership effectiveness is still inconclusive. The reason for this is because while sex may be a constant through the ages, gender is a construct that changes both temporally and geographically. In this regard, then, while sex may have very little influence on leadership style and effectiveness, gender greatly influences the style of leadership and the subsequent leadership effectiveness depending on the society involved.
In any society, the gender roles and expectations of the males and females greatly influence the leadership styles that those males or females generally adopt thereafter. In many societies, for example, the male figures are expected to display authority, leadership and courage (Eklund et al., 2017). Not that these qualities are exclusively male, but that males are expected to demonstrate them more than their female counterparts in many societies. In such cases, the males in leadership tend to consult less as they want to portray an image of independence, authority and strength. Women, on the other hand, would be more consultative and adopt strategic inclusive decision-making skills.
In almost every society, males almost always outnumber females in leadership positions. It has been observed that despite their equal qualifications and experience, the male gender is preferred in many hiring departments. When women get into such professions, they are the consequence of affirmative action or to fulfil the minimal demands of a particular legislation. Consequently, these women who are in because of transformational tendencies adopt transformational leadership skills that break down needless bureaucracy, prioritize wide consultations and inclusive decision-making.
As a result of the adoption of different leadership styles depending on the gender, the effectiveness of such strategies also follows this pattern. While women may be aware that their societies would judge them much more harshly when they fail, men may be indifferent to such feelings. It is little wonder then that countries with female leaders like Germany, New Zealand, Finland and Norway are heralded as one of the countries with the best response to the Coronavirus. They cannot afford to make similar mistakes to their male counterparts and go free. The result is that women in leadership tend to more often be more involved and effective than their male counterparts (Sims et al., 2021).
In conclusion, while sex may have little to do with the leadership styles and the subsequent effectiveness of such styles, the gender roles that men and women are bestowed with in the society influence the leadership styles they adopt later. For women who fear ostracization and judgement, they have to adopt transformational leadership styles which end up being more effective in the long run.
Eklund, K. E., Barry, E. S., & Grunberg, N. E. (2017). Gender and leadership. Gender differences in different contexts, 129-150.
Sims, C., Carter, A., & Moore De Peralta, A. (2021). Do servant, transformational, transactional, and passive avoidant leadership styles influence mentoring competencies for faculty? A study of a gender equity leadership development program. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 32(1), 55-75.