The Impact of Gender Differences on Leadership

Differences and Similarities of Leadership styles of Men and Women

Men and women face different challenges in the labor market, especially while competing for leadership positions. Women are still underrepresented in managerial positions, while at lower levels of the organization and in specific groups of professions they are overrepresented. There is a frequent argument to explain how leadership skills vary between men and women. The paper presents a theoretical overview on the evolution of different leadership theories over the past hundred years. Transformational leadership style is emphasized. Not only because it is considered popular and successful in modern corporate environment, but because it carries numerous feminine attributes. Also, several researches point out the fact that it is applied mostly by female leaders. We contrast those research results that emphasize similarities in male and female leaders’ leadership toolkit with those that emphasize differences. Finally, we discuss some researches that – instead of focusing on gender differences – draw attention on  mediating variables, such as age, qualifications or, for example, the dominant features of organizational culture.

Released: Replika 111, 133–143.