Why should women in leadership roles be supported?

Essay, 2018

10 Pages, Grade: 1

Mia Tanner (Author)


The world and its economy is constantly changing and so is the social view across the globe. Every year new changes emerge and especially gender roles are constantly questioned and redefined. What was once thought impossible has now changed and women in Saudi Arabia are going to be allowed to drive from the end of July onwards. This change alone will have a huge social and political impact for Saudi Arabia and the world. Other countries, such as America, however keep facing other matters in a more advanced society. Women in leadership position is a topic that is widely and continuously discussed. Either it’s the lack of female leadership in companies and the pressure from society to change that or the transformation in the women’s role in leadership raises essential questions about how women’s leadership is perceived and how they lead in general. This paper is going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of supporting women in leadership roles. Both, the social and the workplace viewpoints will be taken in consideration, as well as discussing positive and negative aspects of this topic. Next, the author is going to analyses how social controls may positively support the issue and what interventions can be recommended. Afterwards the author is going to assess which potential economic or social benefits can be expected, if the author’s recommendation were implemented. Finally, a summary will conclude this paper.

Before going into the discussion, it is important to study the current landscape in America in terms of women in leadership roles. America is considered one of the first countries, which has embraced the idea of women in leadership. When studying the largest companies in America a higher representation of top leadership roles carried out by women is noticeable. However, looking more closely, it always depends how top leadership roles are defined and in most senior corporate or political positions women in leadership are still underrepresented (Carli Eagly, 2011). Why is the question? Does it have to do with different leadership styles and how people respond to leaders? In order to answer these questions let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of supporting women in leadership roles. When looking at the different leadership style’s between female and male leaders research has shown, that women are more likely to lead in a participative manner with a feeling-oriented rather than a task- oriented approach (Goethals Hoyt, 2017).

Female leaders lean towards communal strategies, oriented around the well-being and needs of others and focusing on group achievement (Carli Eagly, 2011). That being said it seems like female leadership has the advantage on focusing more on the people rather than the objective to be met. However, that does not mean that it is the right approach to leadership in general. Very often, that leadership style in particular is being criticized. Female leaders have issues separating emotions from the tasks, whereas male leaders are less emotional and more rational in making drastic decision. Women bring different values, priorities and perspective to the table opposed to male and focus on demonstrating cooperation, social values and are less likely to support unethical behavior (Eagly, 2007; Goethals Hoyt, 2017). All the mentioned characteristics are at the same time the disadvantage of female leaders. In other words, what makes them work more effectively can be used against them.

Is there even a right leadership style? The author believes that both leadership styles have positive and negative impacts and it depends purely on the company or the situation at hand. Very often, it is not about how people feel at this particular time, but that they are able to carry out their job and help the organizations growth and vice versa. There is no one single right leadership style either led by a male or a female, but it is rather a combination of both to lead a company to a successful future. That would mean that supporting female leadership is an advantage for every company to move forward and employ a healthy mix of male and female leadership. Companies, such as Facebook for example, have recognized that advantage and they implemented a rule that for every male or female leader the opposite sex must have a chance to fill the other leadership position. It is quite clear that it is not always possible to have the same ration of female and male leaders in the company. Just because a company has set certain rules to fill positions with the right ratio it does not mean that the company has in fact a competent employee who is capable of carrying out the job, whether its male or female (Korgen, Korgen & Giraffe, 2015). Not always can a position be filled with a female leader, if none is available. If instead a male leader who fits the job perfectly is available, the company will always chose to appoint him, rather than desperately searching for a female that fits the criteria. Therefore it is not always just a question of granting one gender a chance or not, but also is the right competence present or how much resources does the company need to invest

To come back to the original questions: gender does play a role when it comes to accepting and responding to different leaders. Even though female leaders have been recognized as effective performance leaders with excellent skills, people still prefer male leaders to female leaders (Carli & Eagly, 2011; Goethals & Hoyt, 2017). It is more difficult for women than men to prove and succeed in male-dominated leadership roles. According to Eagly (2007) “This mix of apparent advantage and disadvantage that women leaders experience reflects the considerable progress toward gender equality that has taken place in both attitudes and behavior, coupled with the lack of complete attainment of this goal”


Excerpt out of 10 pages


Why should women in leadership roles be supported?
Ashford University
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Leadership, Leadership roles, Transformational leadership
Quote paper
Mia Tanner (Author), 2018, Why should women in leadership roles be supported?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/455286


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