Women Leadership Essay

5215 Words May 23rd, 2010 21 Pages
A simple definition of leadership is that leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Put even more simply, the leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He or she is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and skills that makes others want to follow his or her direction. In business, leadership is welded to performance. Effective leaders are those who increase their companies‘ bottom lines. To further confuse the issue, we tend to use the terms "leadership" and "management" interchangeably, referring to a company's management structure as its leadership, or to individuals who are actually managers as the "leaders"
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Conflicting, sets of expectations, high-profile women leaders in the United States are relentlessly held to a higher standard than their male counterparts.  Different Responses to Women and Men in Leadership Roles

Researchers have identified four key ways in which female and male leaders elicit different responses from those around them. These different responses appear to be due, not so much to different leadership behaviors by women and men, as to the stimulus value of women or men in these roles. A woman leader stimulates a different reaction than a male leader because of learned expectations, shaped and supported by the surrounding social structure, that invalidate and undercut women‘s attempts to be effective, influential, and powerful.

Women are expected to combine Leadership with Compassion—and are disliked when they don’t

Researchers have long found that people think ―male‖ when they think ―leader‖. Because of perceived incompatibility between the requirements of femininity and those of leadership, women are often required to ―soften‖ their leadership styles to gain the approval of their constituents. Women who do not temper their agency and competence with warmth and friendliness risk being disliked and less influential. Women who lead with an autocratic style are the targets of more disapproval than those who enact a more democratic style; men may

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