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Gender and leadership in management

Gender and Leadership

You recently attended a management workshop entitled, "Gender and Leadership," during which the workshop leader related the following statement originally expressed by Bill Clinton: "We need not just a new generation of leadership but a new gender of leadership" ("Clinton pledges fidelity," 1992, p. A2).

Respond to this statement by answering the following questions:

Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?
Do you think there are gender-specific leadership or management traits?

Analyze the various leader, follower, cultural, and situational characteristics that contribute to leadership.
Discuss and explain when and why participation should be used to improve leadership effectiveness.
Explain the role of individual differences and traits in leadership.
Apply critical thinking skills to analyze business situations.

Clinton pledges fidelity to 'New gender of leadership' at women's caucus. (1992, July 15). The Salt Lake City Tribune, p. A2. Retrieved February 9, 2008 from the Factiva database.

Solution Preview

Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?

I agree with the sentiment of the statement, providing that the leadership that is selected is selected for their skills and ability, and not wholly based on trying to prove a point by filling a quota based on gender. Leadership should be defined by the most qualified person, not specifically by their ability to wear a skirt or not. There are many great male leaders that have proven their worth in apt decision making, staying calm in a time of crisis and by confidently communicating the messages that their followers needed to hear. There are just as many male leaders who have failed in these regards. The same would be true for women. Gender does not guarantee success at leadership, parenting or life. Successful leadership is based on the individual that chooses to lead, and if the best "man" for the job is a woman, then the woman should be the one standing at the podium without reservations.

Do you think there are gender-specific leadership or management traits?

I think that there are gender specific leadership and management traits as a whole, but as individuals it is difficult to stereotype. Women tend to be more empathetic, emotional and thorough. These traits have negatives and positives associated with them. When dealing with empathy, it is beneficial to have a leader that will try to relate to the people in their flock. Humanizing yourself as a leader is a very positive characteristic, however if you empathize too much with people that are demanding help from you, your judgment might be clouded by how you relate to them personally instead of what the best decision overall is. Women are very good at putting themselves in other people's shoes and trying to understand a situation from every ...

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