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Gender and Leadership: When Do Women Excel?

Monday, December 30, 2013
posted by Rita Handrich

gender-leadershipWe’ve written a lot here about the lack of parity for women in income, career mobility, and leadership. Recently, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University published a special issue of KelloggInsight on Gender and Leadership. Rather than highlighting a specific article, we are going to tell you (briefly) about all of them with the individual URLs so you can go directly to any of particular interest to you. It’s a really nice line-up of work where you are sure to find something new even if you follow the gender and leadership literature closely. 

Braggarts become leaders: Women don’t become leaders because they don’t speak up about their abilities, talents, and accomplishments. Men, on the other hand, do. Men become leaders. This article summarizes the research on tooting your own horn and how organizations need to understand that men are more likely to over-state their past accomplishments.

Queen Bees? Not so much: Women who rise to top positions (against the odds) are very likely to help other women gain promotions as well. For example, a woman’s presence on the Board of Directors not only increases the number of female executives but increased salaries for women, as well.

There really is a female leadership style: Comparing companies in both Norway and the United States, the authors find that companies with female CEOs tend to have fewer reductions in force (i.e., layoffs) in difficult economic times.

Woman in charge and economic growth: Countries with high levels of economic diversity often have slower economic growth. That changes when there is a woman in charge.

A discussion of the latest in gender research and equality: Alice Eagly (a well-known researcher) discusses the latest research findings and advises managers who want to promote gender equality in their organizations.

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