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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Arijit Sikdar and Sumit Mitra

The extant literature on leadership in the Arab world reflects the traditional bias of leadership being a male domain. Arising out of a patriarchal social structure, men…

Abstract

Purpose

The extant literature on leadership in the Arab world reflects the traditional bias of leadership being a male domain. Arising out of a patriarchal social structure, men assume leadership in organizations while women are often confined to work at home. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the emergence of women leaders in UAE organizations by going beyond biological sex role biases to identify leadership as masculine or feminine gendered role stereotypes in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The data collected over two periods comprised two sets of Schein Descriptive Index (SDI) together with those of leadership intention and behaviour style; correlations thereof were computed to test hypotheses constructed from the literature.

Findings

The findings indicate that within organizations in the UAE, employee feedback highlights gender‐role stereotypes as defining leadership roles, rather than individual biological sex and their traditional family and social role. The findings reveal that in the UAE, gender stereotypes influence leadership intention and behaviour rather than individual biological sex and related traditions. Accordingly, women leaders having higher proportions of “agentic” characteristics of male gender stereotype together with lower proportions of “people orientation” of female gender stereotype, which makes successful leaders in the UAE break the proverbial “glass ceiling”. This explains the emergence of an increasing number of women leaders in the UAE.

Research limitations/implications

Generalizability of the findings is limited by non‐representation of countries with high gender egalitarianism, as well as the geographical limitation of the study to the UAE only. In the context of traditional male‐dominated organizations in the UAE, the findings on gender‐role stereotypes of leaders in these organizations cannot only help organizations take informed decisions in choosing leaders without the “glass ceiling” biases, but can go further to identify and nurture potential leaders, including women leaders, within organizations. These findings are of considerable significance to the Middle East and the Arab world in general, in the wake of the developments witnessed there.

Originality/value

The paper explains women leadership in organizations in the UAE, a part of the Arab world of the Middle East, from the perspective of gender‐role stereotypes, as opposed to traditional sex‐role biases, to bring women leaders there into the mainstream gender literature.

Details

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Cortney Baker

The purpose of this paper is to provide a literature review of current trends with regard to women in leadership positions. Women are increasingly reported as having…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a literature review of current trends with regard to women in leadership positions. Women are increasingly reported as having excellent leadership skills. In fact, women, more than men, are praised for having traits and styles that are associated with effective leadership performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of this paper was a literature review of current research on gender differences in men and women in top leadership roles.

Findings

Despite the evidence that women are capable of being top performers, women are still not attaining top-level leadership positions in comparison to their male peers. This paper will consider some of the reasons that women have difficulty in climbing the corporate ladder as well as discuss stereotyping and gender as it relates to leadership traits.

Social implications

As a result of this paper, employers are encouraged to hire and promote women into their corporations top leadership positions.

Originality/value

This paper further contributes to the discussion of women in leadership and the disparity that continues in having women employed in the upper echelons of corporations. The value of this paper is to provide employers further evidence that women comprise skillsets that necessary for company advancement.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Uma D. Jogulu and Glenice J. Wood

To consider how leadership theories have helped or hindered raising the profile of women in management and leadership roles.

Abstract

Purpose

To consider how leadership theories have helped or hindered raising the profile of women in management and leadership roles.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper traces the earlier leadership theories through to the contemporary research on transactional and transformational leadership styles and offers a viewpoint on how each theory has contributed, or otherwise, to an awareness and acceptance of women in management and leadership roles.

Findings

In 1990, research began to report gender differences in leadership styles with female managers being seen in positive terms as participative, democratic leaders. More recent work reports that women are believed to exhibit more transformational leadership style than their male colleagues, and this is equated with effective leadership.

Research limitations/implications

All of the earlier theories on leadership excluded women and this exacerbated the problem of women not being seen as an appropriate fit in a management or leadership role. Recent findings clearly describe that the transformational qualities of leadership that women exhibit are required by the flatter organisational structures of today. Therefore, a more positive outcome for women advancing to senior roles of management or leadership may be observed in the future.

Originality/value

The paper reviews the major leadership theories, and links these to a timeframe to illustrate how women were not visible in a management context until relatively recently. Such an omission may have contributed to the continuing low numbers of women who advance to senior management and leadership roles.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2019

Debra Parkinson, Alyssa Duncan and Frank Archer

The purpose of this paper is to understand what (if any) actual and perceived barriers exist for women to take on fire and emergency management leadership roles within the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand what (if any) actual and perceived barriers exist for women to take on fire and emergency management leadership roles within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria, Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

An anonymous quantitative online survey was used to collect data about opinions and thoughts of staff. This informed the qualitative component of the research – in-depth, semi-structured interviews and a focus group. The combination of these techniques provides deeper insight into the nature of the barriers for women.

Findings

Respondents identified real barriers for women accessing leadership roles in fire and emergency. Reflecting the wider literature on barriers to women in executive roles, those identified related to sexism, career penalties not faced by men for family responsibilities, and assumptions of women helping other women’s careers. There were more men in senior roles, leaving senior women isolated and often overlooked. Women had fewer role models and sponsors than men and less developed networks, finding it harder to access training and deployments. The context was described by most as “a boys’ club”, where men were seen to dominate meetings and stereotype the abilities of women.

Originality/value

This paper analyses the barriers to women in fire and emergency leadership roles within a masculine workplace and is rare in including a qualitative aspect to the issue in the Australian context.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2019

Shannon Sales, Monica Galloway Burke and Colin Cannonier

This paper aims to examine women leaders from diverse career backgrounds and ethnicities to discover their perspectives of their leadership roles and empowerment to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine women leaders from diverse career backgrounds and ethnicities to discover their perspectives of their leadership roles and empowerment to determine similarities and differences among them, focusing on the perspectives of African American women.

Design/methodology/approach

The review process began with a comprehensive review of African American women in history in the context of leadership and empowerment. Next, a Q-sort methodology was used as a semi-qualitative approach for women leaders to rank words of empowerment and facilitate discussions among these women. The Q methodology is known for exploring issues that are correlated with individuals who are influenced with personal feelings and opinions.

Findings

The paper concludes that perceptions of leadership roles differ among the African American women leaders when compared to other ethnicities. The results support the idea that women from diverse ethnic backgrounds have different experiences in the workplace, and these experiences influence how they identify factors they perceive as beneficial to them in terms of their perspectives on leadership and empowerment. Several themes emerged for African American women leaders including being overlooked, marginalized, undervalued and unappreciated in their professions as leaders due to their dual minority status. As it is now as it was in the past, such barriers can deter or stop progression for African American women leaders.

Originality/value

The history of African American women in leadership roles is scantily recognized or not recognized at all. This paper highlights leadership roles and barriers for African American women currently in leadership roles in contrast to other women. The issues they face are still similar to those faced by African American women in earlier decades in spite of increased career mobility. A relatively understudied topic in leadership and management history in general, this paper provides a unique lens from which to build awareness about the leadership roles and empowerment of African American women and to effect needed change.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2008

Uma D. Jogulu and Glenice J. Wood

The present paper is based on a cross‐cultural exploration of middle managers in two diverse cultures and aims to focus on how the leadership styles of managerial women

Abstract

Purpose

The present paper is based on a cross‐cultural exploration of middle managers in two diverse cultures and aims to focus on how the leadership styles of managerial women are perceived and evaluated. In particular, female and male peer evaluations of leadership effectiveness in Malaysia and Australia are to be explored.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys from 324 middle managers from Malaysia and Australia were quantitatively analysed. The sample for the study was drawn from organisations in four industry types in both countries.

Findings

Findings suggest that evaluations of female managers' leadership styles in general, and within the respondent's own organisations, were strongly culture specific, especially in Malaysia. The results reflected the strongly held values, attitudes and beliefs of each country. While this is not unexpected, it does highlight a need to be cautious when interpreting Western research results and attempting to transplant those into other cultures. In Malaysia, female managers were not seen as effective in the leadership styles they adopted in their roles when compared to the Australian female managers' evaluations. Such an evaluation may have had little to do with an objective appraisal of the female managers' capability, but rather with a strongly held cultural belief about the appropriate role of women in society, and in organisations in particular.

Research limitations/implications

It is suggested that national culture manifests itself in the values, attitudes and behaviours of people. Cultural influences are therefore likely to impact on the way women and men behave in the workplace, particularly when roles of authority and power are evident, and the way in which that behaviour will be evaluated by others. Further research using different samples in different cultures are recommended. In addition, the influence of ethnicity, race or religion in plural countries such as Malaysia and Australia is also worthy of investigation.

Practical implications

This research suggests that values and attitudes are strongly culture‐specific and therefore have the ability to influence evaluations at an organisational level. Such an awareness of cultural influences should guide appropriate human resource practices, particularly within a globalized environment.

Originality/value

The inclusion of a gender comparison in the data analysis in this paper is a significant attempt to add to the extant knowledge of the cross‐cultural research. This is a unique contribution because of the omission of a gender perspective in the previous two seminal studies in culture literature (i.e. Hofstede and House et al.). In addition, the findings suggest that culture‐specific influences are important determinants that impose expectations on the role of women differently from men in society and within organisations hence, making the gender comparison of the findings more significant.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 29 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Kenneth S. Rhee and Tracey H. Sigler

– The purpose of this study is to empirically explore the perceptions of leader effectiveness and preference on gender and leadership style.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to empirically explore the perceptions of leader effectiveness and preference on gender and leadership style.

Design/methodology/approach

The interaction between authoritarian and participative leadership style and gender roles was examined for effectiveness and preference using video samples of dramatized leaders.

Findings

The results showed that although subjects found participatory leaders to be more effective and also preferred such a style over authoritarian leaders, male leaders were rated to be more effective and more preferred over female leaders. Women leaders who go against their gender stereotype were perceived as even less effective and less preferred than male leaders who exhibited the same style that was identified as a more masculine style.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest that women leaders continue to face challenges overcoming both sexual bias and stereotypes. Women leaders, regardless of style, face an uphill battle in terms of perceptions of effectiveness and preference regardless of who their followers might be. In addition, women leaders who go against the typical gender stereotype might be penalized even more.

Practical implications

Despite making progress on gender equity, the study demonstrated the continuing existence of sexual stereotyping and bias in people’s perceptions, even with “younger” subjects. Thus, we need to maintain our focus on actively changing the rules of the workplace (e.g. a recent Harvard Business School experiment) and changing the status quo. Until we level the playing field, we need to continue to play an active role in creating an organizational culture and shaping an environment that is fair and equitable.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the current status of gender bias and stereotyping using an innovative methodology of video case studies. The results also highlight the persistence of gender bias and stereotype even in a “neutral” setting with the younger subjects. In addition, the paper empirically demonstrates the double standards women often face in the workplace. Women leaders have often been expected to demonstrate more masculine traits at workplace (as exhibited by the authoritarian style), but when they do, they are penalized for acting out of their gender role.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2017

Karin Klenke

Abstract

Details

Women in Leadership 2nd Edition
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-064-8

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2020

Sofia Schlamp, Fabiola H. Gerpott and Sven C. Voelpel

We investigate the role of gender in linking communicative acts that occur in the interactions of self-managed teams to emergent leadership. Specifically, this study…

Abstract

Purpose

We investigate the role of gender in linking communicative acts that occur in the interactions of self-managed teams to emergent leadership. Specifically, this study presents a framework that differentiates between agentic and communal task- and relations-oriented communication as predictors of emergent leadership, and it hypothesizes that men and women do not differ in what they say but do differ in how they are rewarded (i.e. ascribed informal leadership responsibilities) for their statements.

Design/methodology/approach

Interaction coding was used to capture the meeting communication of 116 members of 41 self-managed teams.

Findings

Men and women exhibited the same amount of agentic and communal task- and relations-oriented communication and were equally likely to emerge as leaders. However, men experienced an emergent leadership advantage when engaging in agentic and communal task-oriented behaviors. Agentic and communal relations-oriented behaviors did not predict emergent leadership.

Research limitations/implications

The findings imply that theories could be more precise in differentiating between objective behaviors (i.e. actor perspective) and perceptions thereof (i.e. observer perspective) to understand why women experience a disadvantage in assuming leadership roles.

Practical implications

Although women displayed the same verbal behaviors as men, they experienced different consequences. Organizations can provide unconscious bias training programs, which help increase employees' self-awareness of a potential positive assessment bias toward men's communication.

Originality/value

This research utilizes an innovative, fine-grained coding approach to gather data that add to previous studies showing that, unlike men, women experience a disadvantage in terms of emergent leadership ascriptions when they deviate from stereotypically expected behavior.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 October 2020

Lynn R. Offermann, Lauren A. Lanzo, Kira O. Foley and Taniyia J. Harvey

Given continuing gender inequality in the upper echelons of organizations, women's leadership aspirations and orientations are of significant research interest…

Abstract

Purpose

Given continuing gender inequality in the upper echelons of organizations, women's leadership aspirations and orientations are of significant research interest. Controversy remains as to whether today's “Millennial” college women approach work with different leadership aspirations and attitudes than previous generational cohorts. This study compares the leadership and achievement orientations of college women leaders from 1985 to 2015, along with peer comparators from 2015.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained from attendees at a conference for college women leaders in 1985 and 2015; male and female comparators were surveyed in 2015.

Findings

Comparing 1985 and 2015 cohorts of college women leaders suggests both similarity and change, as well as differences between women leaders and their male and female peers. Women leaders from 2015 demonstrated no differences in intrinsic direct achievement, lower self-esteem and higher power apprehension and lower levels of leadership motivation compared to the 1985 cohort. Millennial women leaders reported higher intrinsic direct and power direct achievement than male and female peers, with men higher on competitive achievement than either female group. Millennial women were more concerned about workplace gender equity, about sharing household responsibilities and were more favorable toward using external childcare while working compared to male peers.

Practical implications

Implications for developing young women with leadership potential are discussed.

Originality/value

These results make a strong contribution to understanding the leadership aspirations, achievement orientations and work–life expectations of the next generation of organizational leaders.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

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