As we know it, even today we can safely assume that majority of leadership positions in companies across the nation and even globally are held by men rather then women. According to the lesson there are only 6 women CEOs in fortune 500 companies. Bias in sex stereotypes created problems for women in a way that any managerial positions were defined by characteristics of masculinity and therefore filled by men. According to different type of studies on women in leadership, it has been recognized that women and men have distinctive style of leadership. While women tend to have a democratic type of leadership, men usually have a more directive style of leadership (PSU, 2018)
Also, the studies revealed that females were seen negatively in a male-dominated leadership role. It has also been recognized that women who use the autocratic style of leadership are much less effective in their leadership role. According Northouse, women earn 57% of the bachelor’s degree, 60% of master’s degree and more than half of doctoral degree, but still men are the prominent group in the America’s corporations and political system. There are several reasons why only a few number of women reach top executive positions (PSU, 2018)
According to Glass Ceiling theory, women haven’t been in managerial positions long enough unlike their counterpart to reach the top of the organizations. Secondly, women lack management position. Third, women lack self confidence and are less suited for these top executive positions. To understand why women are underrepresented in high-level positions revolve around; differences in women’s and men’s backing in human capital, next category is understanding gender differences and finally the focus goes on prejudice and discrimination against female leaders (Northouse, 2016).
There are also other disadvantages such as organizational barriers. For example, higher standard of performance which means that women are expected to perform higher and achieve more to overcome the stereotype. There is also, inhospitable corporate culture where discourages balance of work and family. Also, preference in gender similarity in promotion decisions and ignorance by male CEOs and male peers along with lack of developmental opportunities. All of these are barriers against women reaching the top executive positions. There are also personal barriers as well (PSU, 2018).
In conclusion we understand that women in leadership positions are slightly at a disadvantage. We understand that women should not act like men since it is not perceived by men favorably. Also, women shouldn’t be too passive either, since it would make them look less effective. We should keep in mind in addition to personal, and interpersonal barriers, there are organizational and even cultural barriers as well. However, we all know that things are not as bad as they used to be for women. Even though women and leadership stereotype might still exist, women now have the same equal opportunities as men and I am sure soon they’ll be more positive changes for women looking for leadership opportunities and positions.
Northouse, P.G., (2016). Psychology 485: Leadership: Theory and Practice. Lesson 13: Gender and Leadership. Los Angeles: Sage Publications
Penn State University, (2018). Psychology 485: Leadership: Theory and Practice. Lesson 13: Leadership and Diversity.