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The world needs women leaders: It is not the glass ceiling that prevents women from achieving senior leadership roles

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Article publication date: 15 February 2008




The paper aims to reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.


This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.


More than ever before, the world needs women leaders. A recent meta‐analysis demonstrates that the most effective model of leadership is transformational. Transformational leaders are facilitators who act as role models to other team members and use innovative problem‐solving approaches. Transformational leaders adopt a mentoring role with their followers, encouraging self‐development and increased responsibility within the organization. This contrasts with the transactional model of leadership characterized by a top down definition of role responsibilities combined with a system of rewards and punishments used to ensure that subordinates meet management‐defined organizational goals. Women are more likely than men to adopt a transformational leadership style and therefore it could be argued that women should be running the world's major corporations as well as playing key roles in national and international politics. However, a review of the CEOs of major US and European firms or a quick scan of the world's political leaders indicates that a resource with the potential to bring about much needed changes in both business and politics is being squandered.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.


The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to‐digest format.



(2008), "The world needs women leaders: It is not the glass ceiling that prevents women from achieving senior leadership roles", Strategic Direction, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 27-29.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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