Women in Leadership Roles Essay

2126 Words Jun 19th, 2006 9 Pages
More and more women are rising to the leadership challenge, even in some of the most male-dominated industries. The increase in the number of women attending college, the increasing number of women in the workplace or starting their own business has demonstrated to men who own businesses that women can be both managers and mothers, thus showing their male counterpart that women can in fact "do it all".
In this paper the history of women in the workforce will be outlined, as well as the challenges they face. The changing attitudes towards women taking over family businesses will be looked at briefly, how women lead in comparison to how men lead, and a comparison of their leadership style will also be discussed.
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Because women have traditionally been the primary caregiver in the home as well as taking care of the household chores, "juggling" or time management has become second nature to them. Although women are skilled in handling many tasks, studies have shown that women are for the most part, people-oriented, rather than task-oriented. Women also value relationships and tend to spend time nurturing those relationships with their family, as well as subordinates. Coaching, counseling, and mentoring, and the building of relationships are among the many characteristics needed to be an effective leader. In the past, commanding and controlling were thought to be the answer to gaining compliance and hard work from employees. The majority of men lean toward the traditional 'command and control' style and were more likely to view job performance as a series of transactions with subordinates offering rewards for services rendered or punishment for inadequate performance. Women understand the effectiveness of immediate praise and tend to be more supportive of one another and the people who work for them. Men wait for proof of achievement before extending gratitude or compliments. In the book, Selling is a Woman's Game, Nicki Joy outlines the characteristics she feels are unique to women that make them prone to leadership roles: The talent to multi-task, willingness to pay attention to detail, their interest in

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