Strengths Of Female Leadership Style Essay

2339 words - 10 pages

Over the past twenty years the question has arose, with momentum picking up recently, are women better leaders then men? Are the possessive, aggressive, alpha mentality strategies from board rooms which have been the model of leadership since the early to late twentieth century falling by the wayside in favor to the more communicative, trust building/nurturing, anti-ego centric styles of managing supposedly inherent in the female style of leadership. As recent news articles suggest investors are increasingly seeking to invest in organizations with women diversifying the company’s board of directors, due to measured financial successes and the overall progressive mentality at the ...view middle of the document...

To this extent we could argue that neither men nor women are inherently better managers, but instead identify that a combination of pre-existing organizational attitudes towards management and historical experience of males is what we identify with effective managers versus actual competency. Although slightly dated, being conducted in 1995, but relevant to this conversation was a study completed by the Journal of Instructional Technology titled “Instruction Management and Sex Roles: A Descriptive Study”. In this study, students were analyzed to define their perceived strengths and weaknesses in teaching styles (related to management styles) of male and female professors at the university level. As this study was completed in the assumed gender neutral classroom environment the author suggests that we are able to remove the pre-existing gender roles that are still very present at the business/organizational level. What this study refutes was the previous research completed in the late 1970’s which suggested that a “strong relationship exists between masculine identity and leadership status”¹. Previous studies also indicated that traditional organizational leadership is “masculine in nature and therefore women are laced with a difficult choice: either adopt the masculine definition of teaching and management and conform to it (i.e. become more assertive, bold, and independent) or change the organization or classroom so that stereotypical female characteristics play a much larger role in management philosophy.”¹ The method of this study was to identify the five managerial functions of planning, organizing, motivating, controlling, and personalizing and have students identify them with either male or female styles of leadership based on a series of questions. The results found that students identified these traits as androgynous (gender-neutral), implying that in a gender neutral setting, the potential employees (students) generally view their managers (teachers) as equally effective with respect to these management traits. Although I would believe it can be refuted since this is a situation presented in a vacuum and thus cannot be equally applied across all industries, but it provides us some insight on how men and women are perceived when they are rated by their employees (students), in a situation where the preconceived gender roles are not defined.
The intent of my previous paragraph was to level the playing field of my argument by removing the generally pre-conceived societal notion that men are better leaders and managers then women. If we equate both male and females capable of being successful leaders, but also understand they may achieve similar results via alternate paths, we then want to identify what their strengths are compared to a male counterpart. As my career exists in the Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) realm, I feel it is important to identify first with these strengths as I perceive...

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