Gender Differences in Leadership Presented by Karishma Sehgal Roll number. The term “leaders” refers to persons holding formal positions of leadership in complex organizations in industry, government, education, politics, the arts, sciences, and professions. Historically, gender precluded most females from becoming leaders in such organizations; as a result, the assumption that males were better suited than females for leadership roles was, until recently, rarely questioned. Certainly much progress has been made particularly within the middle management ranks of the corporate world where women now hold about 45% of the professional, administrative, and managerial positions.
However, the idea of women in top leadership roles is still difficult for many to grasp (presence of a so-called “glass ceiling” is said to have inhibited women from advancing to the highest level of management in most organizations), and the women who do succeed in attaining those positions need to be both exceptional and exceptionally able to deal with enormous social and psychological pressures. It is clear that women have found it more difficult to move up the organizational ladder. But is it a difference in leadership styles that has impeded women’s progress?
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One big issue that the society might not have taken into consideration is that these assumed differences may also depend on other reasons such as age, background, culture or education. It is obvious that leadership is a male dominated one. Leaders are often described with adjectives such as “competitive,” “aggressive,” or “dominant,” which are typically associated with masculinity. Perception of what constitutes “good” or appropriate leadership behaviours has been described as driven by older stereotypes that favour men as having more leadership qualifications.
Sywensky and Madden (1996) argue that even when women have the skills and abilities necessary to effectively lead in an organization; they may still have difficulty convincing others of their leadership capacity. Sometimes this pressure might lead to a form of “double-bind” wherein a woman leader must act tough and authoritative (i. e. masculine) in order to be taken seriously but may be perceived negatively when she acts in a more aggressive manner (Oakley, 2000). Objectives of this study: * To study the inherent differences in the leadership styles of men and women and to determine whether these differences are gender linked. To study what other factors (apart from gender) influence the leadership style of men and women. * To study the leadership approach and qualities of a male and a female leader and compare them. Masculine and feminine leadership 1. Male leaders usually have a transactional leadership style According to Judy Rosener, PhD, the primary distinction between male and female leaders is, while not all are stereotypes, men have a transactional leadership style while women lead with transformational attributes. 2. Male leaders are more risk taking
According to a study conducted by Marie-Theresa Edbauer & Ida Svensson (Swedish Management researchers), women leaders in general tend to discuss things for a long period, trying to look at them from various points of view, but once they have made a decision, they implement it. On the other hand, men make decisions rather fast, but before implementing them they make a new and adjusted decision. The reason for this is that men are naturally more risk-taking and therefore use a faster decision-making system. 3. Male leaders put tasks before relationships
Men are considered to set tasks before relationships, while women on the other hand are more people- oriented and focus more on establishing interpersonal relationships. They are warmer and softer compared to their male counterparts. 4. Male leaders are more inclined to an authoritative style Male leaders more frequently operate in mediums bound by hierarchy, status, rules and orders. In contrast, women normally function with connectivity and closeness as paramount. For women, status and hierarchy are not key and women are not predisposed to giving orders, but rather express preferences and suggestions which are likely accepted. . Male leaders communicate “to-the-point” Male leaders usually keep it short and sweet. No personal talk, just down to business and go. Female leaders on the other hand talk on a more personal note while addressing subordinates. According to Rolf Graner there are general scattered attitudes which make men and women function differently (Graner, 1994). Those attitudes are the following: Male properties| Female properties| Result oriented| Relation oriented| Logical| Intuitive| Independent| Dependent| Focused on competition| Cooperativeness| Restrained| Emotional| Investigating| Caring|
Selfish| Understanding| Powerful| Soft| Bold| Careful| (GENDER SCATTERED ATTITUDES, GRANER 1994, P. 122) Factors that influence an individual’s leadership style (Not gender-linked) 1. The individual’s personal background What personality, knowledge, values, ethics, and experiences does the leader have? What does he or she think will work? These factors have a great bearing on how the leaders deal with business situations and their leadership style in general. 2. The organization The traditions, values, philosophy, vision and concerns of the organization influence how a leader acts.
It is necessary for any leader to base his/her actions in conformity with the vision of his/her organisation. Accordingly, they adopt styles that reflect the values and concerns of their company. 3. Staff being supervised In an organisation, there are employees with different personalities and backgrounds; sometimes the leaders alter their leadership styles depending upon the individual staff and what he or she will respond best to. Leadership – The Indra Nooyi Way “Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.
As a leader, I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody; however, I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing so that they can aspire to be me in the future. ” – Indra Nooyi in an interview to CNBC, in June 2008 “As someone who has always aspired to build a company committed to its people and to the world, I admire her determination to achieve sustainability at an established company like PepsiCo. And I believe that all socially responsible companies could learn from Indra Nooyi’s style of leadership. – Howard Schultz, President and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, on presenting Nooyi the 2008 Time 100 award Indra Nooyi’s Bio Nationality: Indian. Born: October 28, 1955, in Madras, India. Education: Madras Christian College, BS, 1976; Indian Institute of Management, MBA, 1978; Yale University, master of public and private management, 1980. Occupation (Current): CEO, PepsiCo Brief of Indra Nooyi’s Journey at PepsiCo Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi (Nooyi) became the first woman CEO of PepsiCo Incorporated (PepsiCo) in 2006 at the age of 50.
She was listed among Time magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People in 2008. In a poll conducted by Forbes Magazine for the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2008, she was ranked Number 3. In Fortune Magazine’s annual ranking of America’s leading business women titled 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, she was ranked #1 for three successive years in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Nooyi joined PepsiCo as Senior Vice President (SVP), Strategic Planning, in 1994. As SVP, she directed the company’s global strategy.
She initiated and mapped out a number of PepsiCo’s strategic decisions including the spinning off of its restaurant business, the merger with Quaker Oats Company, an American food conglomerate and the acquisition of Tropicana, among other contracts. In 2000, Nooyi was promoted as PepsiCo’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She was also provided a seat on the Board of Directors and assigned the additional role of President with associated responsibilities for PepsiCo’s corporate functions including finance, strategy, business-process optimization, and information technology. In 2006, Nooyi became the fifth CEO of PepsiCo.
As CEO, she continued to steer PepsiCo based on the vision of “Performance with Purpose. ” She implemented a number of measures to improve the sustainability of the company’s operations and image by focusing on improvements in the health implications of PepsiCo products. Measures such as removing trans-fats from PepsiCo snacks, product innovations in the Quaker Oats brand to come out with a range of consumer perceived healthy snacks, categorization of its snacks into three categories named fun for you, good for you, and better for you were undertaken under her leadership.
Indra Nooyi as a leader Being a woman, an immigrant and her colour made it thrice as difficult for her to reach this destination, but the only mantra she followed during the course of time was “working twice as hard as the male counterpart”. 1. Change Orientation – “Don’t Wait. Change before you’re forced to” Indra Nooyi as a leader believes that constant change is necessary for every business to stay relevant. She was instrumental in the strategic reshaping of PepsiCo. The results were exceedingly brilliant. But, according to her, sooner the changes are implemented, the better it is.
According to her, ideally, a business leader should continually re-assess and re-evaluate the fundamental proposition of his or her business. 2. People orientation – “You Can’t Do it Without People” “Numbers matter, but you live and die by your people. ” – said Indra Nooyi at a seminar. In the course of restructuring PepsiCo, the employees operated under some truly extraordinary demand with increased workloads, unreasonable deadlines and tremendous pressure. Indra Nooyi however made sure that the employees were acknowledged for their contributions in a very “public” way.
Also, she ensured that the employees were not over-burdened with work and that the organisation did not ask them to perform beyond their capacity. 3. Good planning “Plan all you can, pressure-test that plan. And when you’re finished, plan some more. If you’re going to make mistakes, it’s a lot cheaper to make them on paper during the planning process. ” Indra Nooyi attaches a lot of importance to planning. During PepsiCo’s merger with Quaker, it was proper, detailed planning that brought the businesses together successfully. . Humility Indra Nooyi emphasises on the importance of humility and particularly, a willingness to acknowledge what we don’t know or what we’re not sure about. According to her- “In business that’s sometimes tough. Acknowledging that you don’t know something or appearing unsure or relying on others may be seen by some as a sign of weakness. It isn’t. The key to gaining wisdom is openness”. 5. Proper communication According to Indra Nooyi, one of the most critical roles of a company’s leader is to communicate well and clearly.
People in an organisation perform and deliver extraordinarily results if the leaders of the organisation make their corporate goals and aspirations very clear. “It’s amazing the great things your organization can achieve when your goals are clear and your people understand what’s in it for them”. Says Nooyi Howard Shultz – Leadership Of Starbucks Coffee “Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day. You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management”. Howard Shultz Howard Shultz’s bio Nationality: American. Born: July 19, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York. Education: Northern Michigan University, BS, 1975. Career: Xerox Corporation, 1976–1979, sales; Hammarplast, 1979–1982, manager of U. S. operations; Starbucks Corporation, 1982–1985, director of retail operations and marketing; Giornale, 1985–1987, founder and CEO; Starbucks Corporation, 1987–2000, chairman and CEO; 2000–, chairman and chief global strategist. Brief of Howard Shultz’s journey at Starbucks Schultz grew up in Brooklyn, where he was deeply affected by his father’s struggle to provide for his family.
Looking for a way to stand out and be successful, Schultz turned to sports and gained a football scholarship to Northern Michigan University in 1971. He was an unmotivated student, however, and didn’t discover his fore-most talent until he took a sales position with the Xerox Corporation. Schultz flourished in competitive environments and rose quickly when he joined the house wares company Hammarplast in 1979. As a general manager with Hammarplast he travelled to Seattle in 1981 to investigate a small coffee company that was ordering an extraordinary number of specially shaped coffee filters. This was his first encounter with Starbucks.
Schultz was immediately captivated by the passion of Starbucks’ founders, Gordon Bowker and Jerry Baldwin. Fired with enthusiasm, Schultz soon talked them into hiring him as their director of retail operations and marketing. Despite the misgivings of his family, Schultz gave up a respectable job in Manhattan to immerse himself in the arcane business of gourmet coffee. He even found himself attracted to the countercultural aura of Seattle that had given birth to the American coffeehouse. Most importantly he had found a business he could be passionate about, and he threw himself into it wholeheartedly.
In 1982, he joined Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle as the Director of Marketing. After joining Starbucks, while Schultz was on a buying trip to Milan, Italy, he noted that coffee bars existed on practically every street. He learned that they not only served excellent espresso, they also served as meeting places or public squares; they were a big part of Italy’s societal glue, and there were 200,000 of them in the country. On his return, he tried to persuade the owners (including Jerry Baldwin) to offer traditional espresso beverages in addition to the whole bean coffee, leaf teas and spices they had long offered.
After a successful pilot of the cafe concept, the owners refused to roll it out company-wide, saying they didn’t want to get into the restaurant business. Frustrated, Schultz started his own coffee shop named Il Giornale in 1985. Two years later, the original Starbucks management decided to focus on Peet’s Coffee & Tea and sold its Starbucks retail unit to Schultz and Il Giornale for $3. 8 million. Schultz renamed Il Giornale with the Starbucks name and aggressively expanded Starbucks’ reach across the United States. Schultz’s keen insight in real estate and his insatiable appetite for coffee drinks drove him to grow the company rapidly.
Schultz didn’t believe in franchising, so made a point of having Starbucks own every domestic outlet with one exception. Schultz also went 50-50 with Magic Johnson on stores in minority communities. Schultz is also a significant stakeholder in Jamba Juice. On January 8, 2008 Schultz regained his status as CEO of Starbucks after a hiatus of 8 years. Howard Shultz as a leader 1. Vision According to Howard Shultz, to make a business a success, one must have a strong and bold vision. A successful leader must be able to see opportunities and respond to them before others can.
He also adds that vision alone is not sufficient to make a company successful. “A successful company can’t sustain itself on exhilarating ideas alone. Many business visionaries have failed as leaders because they could not execute. Process and systems, discipline and efficiency are needed to create a foundation before ideas can be implemented and entrepreneurial vision can be realized”. 2. Need for change Howard Shultz believes that a business should constantly introduce changes to flourish and grow even if it is doing reasonably well.
He says- “The world is changing. Every year, customer’s needs and tastes change. The competition heats up. Employees change. Managers change. Even when life seems perfect, you have to take risks and jump to the next level, or you’ll start spiralling downhill into complacency without even realizing it. ” 3. Integrity and Passion Being passionate about your business is the key ingredient to its success. When you are passionate, you come across as excited, energetic, and enthusiastic — all of the qualities employees like to see in their leaders.
Schultz’s passion rubs off on employees and they in turn deliver exceedingly good performance which pleases the customers at Starbucks. 4. People orientation According to Schultz, it is necessary for a leader to build a relation of trust and confidence with his/her employees. The employees directly affect the quality of products and services the company’s customers receive. People will determine the ultimate success of a company. Products are inert. A leader must hire great people, celebrate their passions and their skills, and give them the freedom to do their jobs right.
To build employee commitment towards the business, it is necessary that they are able to trust the leader’s judgement and be sure that their efforts will be valued. Comparative study of the leadership styles of Indra Nooyi and Howard Schultz In general, both the leaders possess similar leadership traits that have helped them reach such great heights in their respective careers. Contrary to the popular perception of women being more “people oriented”, Howard Schultz lays great emphasis on the same and feels that it is extremely necessary to value your employees and develop a rapport with them so that they can count on you, trust you.
Similarly Indra Nooyi recognises the importance of treating her employees well and to ensure that their efforts are recognised and that they are not over-worked. Also, both the leaders emphasise that an organisation in order to sustain and grow, must undergo constant change. They also say that leaders must always keep a look out for opportunities and grab hold of them before their competitors can. Both leaders come across as visionaries. Howard Schultz particularly also mentions that vision without implementation is not sufficient and will not deliver any outcomes.
Both leaders feel that they should encourage participation from their subordinates and not just give orders and expect them to adhere to them. Indra Nooyi also feels that she can learn a lot from her employees and is open to their ideas and suggestions. Howard Schultz feels that once a good performer is hired, he/she should be given the freedom to do his/her job in a way he/she thinks is right. Conclusion To conclude the study, we can say that the differences between male and female leadership exist, but the differences are not solely gender related.
Also, the preconceived notions of people cause them to make judgements about variations in leadership styles of leaders of the opposite sexes. In some instances, there may be no perceived differences at all in leadership styles between men and women. In other cases, people may perceive men and women to act differently based on their own socially constructed conceptions of gender. Differences may have more to do with personality aptitudes and gender stereotypes than with actual differences in leadership due to gender.
Generally, women are perceived as more democratic leaders. Their styles involve a sharing of information and promotion of cooperative learning. Women also share the power with their employees, enabling them to see and believe that their opinions matter. They have strong interpersonal and relational skills that make them seem empathic and effective to their staffs. They are expected to smile and be considerate as well as open to negotiation. Male leaders on the other hand represent the notion of rugged individuality and conform to the ideals of masculinity in the workplace.
They are autocratic, focused on directing performance and finding solutions by considering wins and losses. Their competitive nature can make them appear less hands-on and approachable, though they often epitomize a calm, cool demeanour. Males are seen as formal authorities and are often on the top of the corporate ladder in industries dominated by highly educated women. Regardless of how women are perceived as leaders, the evidences collected by many researchers strongly suggest that women and men are equally effective as leaders across many different types of situations.
Despite the perceived similarity in the way men and women lead and for the fact that women tend to be equally effective as men as leaders, women still face significant difficulties in going up to top levels of management in business organizations. References * http://www. thepracticeofleadership. net * http://www. career-bios. com * http://www. referenceforbusiness. com * www. scribd. com * www. slideshare. net * http://www. icmrindia. org * http://www. essays. se * http://ivythesis. typepad. com * http://www. allbusiness. com