Women in leadership have increasingly become one of the most significant topics among researchers and academicians as the urge for gender equality has become more pressing among business and government organizations. The need for gender equality has become important because there have been observations that women can lead just the same way as men or even better. However, there are some observers who maintain that women cannot lead and they are supposed to be homemakers, as opposed to organizational leaders.
These two opposing views have led to debates regarding the leadership style that is employed by women compared to the style employed by men (Carter & Silva 2010). Many are times when women have been discriminated in leadership. However, there have been arguments that the leadership style that women employ is nurturing and caring and could, at times, be effective compared to that of men. This essay focuses on women leadership and proposes possible ways of improving leadership.
Women in leadership
The issue of gender disparity in the workplace has been one of the major concerns for a long period. Women are discriminated at the workplace, especially when it comes to being assigned top positions. In most organizations, the number of women in the top positions is lesser than the number of men. This creates a great concern, considering the fact that women are generally more in the population, and they make up approximately 40% of the workforce in the whole world (Northouse 2013).
The number of women in the workforce has been growing by double digits in some nations. In addition, there have been many women graduating from universities, thus more women are qualifying for job positions. It is for this reason that some companies have embarked on implementing programs that will help to eradicate the bias that has existed in the selection of people to fill the leadership positions. Such companies support the participation of women in leadership positions (Northouse, 2013). Despite these efforts, the general trend has been that women are still lagging behind men in most fields and inequality has remained entrenched in the workplace.
Companies need to come up with ways of overcoming the problem of inequality between men and women. There are minimal differences between men’s style of leadership and women’s style of leadership. However, the low number of women in top positions could be associated with the fact that most of the women generally lag behind men even in education. Thus companies tend to employ more men compared to women (Carter and Silva, 2010). It should, however, be noted that parenting does not affect the number of women in leadership, but it may have an effect on their style of leadership.
This means that women could be more caring and nurturing when they are put in leadership positions compared to men. Leadership is all about influencing people to behave in a certain way so that they can achieve certain goals and objectives (Klenke 2011). The fact that women could be more caring and nurturing compared to men means that they have the ability to influence employees more and lead the organization to achieve its goals. People will always be influenced by a leader who is caring and can listen to them and act to help them at the same time.
It is for this reason that organizations need to increase the number of women in leadership positions. However, this should start with increasing the number of women qualifying for the positions. This objective can be achieved through training, as well as encouraging more women to avail themselves for appointment and selection for leadership positions. The kind of boss that one finds at their first job has a great influence on their career advancement (Rowley, Hossain and Barry, 2010).
There are high chances that one may quit a job if they get a bad boss on their first job (Klenke 2011). The number of women who quit jobs compared to the number of men who quit for this reason is relatively higher. This is another reason why the number of women who go on to get promotions to leadership positions may below. Therefore, bosses need to treat their employees well to encourage them to stay longer in organizations.
It is evident that leadership has the ability to help an organization achieve its goals and objectives and be successful. Good leadership is part of the recipe for organizational success. Debates usually revolve around the issue of whether women have the same leadership capability compared to men. While some people argue that women may be less effective in leadership, the general observation is that women have a leadership style that is peculiar to that of men. In other words, they have a nurturing and caring style of leadership. Thus they have the ability to be more effective and influential if given a chance to lead. However, there have been fewer women in leadership positions. Some companies have already embarked on programs to increase the number of women in leadership positions.
List of References
Carter, MN & Silva, C 2010, ‘Women in management: Delusions of progress’, Harvard Business Review, pp. 19-20.
Klenke, K 2011, Women in leadership: Contextual dynamics and boundaries, Emerald Group Publishers, Bradford.
Northouse, PG 2013, Leadership: theory and practice, 6th ed., SAGE Publications, Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA.
Rowley, S, Hossain, F & Barry, P 2010, ‘Leadership through a gender lens: How cultural environments and theoretical perspectives interact with gender’, International Journal of Public Administration, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 81-87.