In a fast stridden and changing environment, the focus of attention is increasingly on the need for effective leadership not just good management, and women have recently proved that they are not only a good homemaker, but also good in leading the society and promoting inclusion. Women have made dramatic gains in electoral politics, winning a number of high profile positions of national leadership and a record number of seats in parliaments around the world. However, ladies who are aspiring to leadership positions are facing particular challenges; they often face far more meticulous tests to determine their suitability for promotion. Nevertheless, in order to create your own opportunities, you should acquire the characteristics and competencies of an effective leader and integrate these into your personal leadership style not caring about your identity or gender. Furthermore, through interactive exercises and group discussions, female will gain powerful communication, negotiation and influencing skills which will help them succeed in male oriented working environments.

They will learn how to achieve an assertive but not aggressive response styles and create and sustain an image of authority. They will also acquire valuable techniques to help them lead, empower and motivate their staff to excel. To give an opportunity to women to develop practical leadership skills as well as to benefit from the breadth of knowledge and experience of their peers within a range of commercial and public organizations is an obligation and a duty in the hands of the government. In fact, a large number of women around the world have set up and managed their own businesses. It was not easy for those women to succeed in business. They had to face a lot of difficulties and overcome a number of barriers to become successful in their ventures. They had to deal with discrimination and endure the doubt of society, and also put in more effort than men to prove their credibility to others. The frequent mismatch that arose against women, on the one hand is because of societal discourses and media representations which often reproduced slim and highly stereotypical accounts of women’s leadership, and on the other hand, because individual women’s subjective experiences of leadership challenged such representations. Many researches have been conducted concerning women’s leadership.

The findings of these researches showed that the women reported frequently demonstrated exemplary leadership practices and many possessed significant leadership experience. Participants scored highest on competencies utilizing people skills and lowest in areas reflecting competence in cognitive or strategic skills. While exposed to formal leadership education, they reported receiving their leadership education primarily through observation and experience. Data from other studies were gathered in three diverse sample conditions to examine whether male and female managers differed in styles of leadership observed by their direct reports and they examined differences in both transformational and transactional leadership styles using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. In three samples, women leaders were rated by both their female and male direct reports as displaying certain key aspects of transformational leadership (i.e. charisma, individualized consideration) more frequently than men.

Although the effect sizes were generally small, the results of these studies suggest that women are no less transformational than their male counterparts, and may, in fact, be more so. The sex of the raters did not appear to make any difference in the results obtained.

When it comes to gender and leadership, one thing is clear. Women can be successful in leading both private and public sector organizations. Women corporate leaders face a special set of challenges due to the male dominated nature of these things. Because women are members of the lower status minority group, for them assimilation creates problems with cultural adaption, the inability to maintain a positive sense of identity, feelings of marginalization and isolation and increased exposure to harassment and other stressors.

At last but not at least although prejudicial attitudes do not invariably produce discriminatory behavior, such attitudes can limit women’s access to leadership roles and foster discriminatory evaluations when they occupy such positions. Social scientists have evaluated women’s access to leadership roles through a large number of studies that implement regression methods.

Finally, women have different opinions and views and having just one woman does not mean all are represented. We need to take more action in order to ensure that leadership women who have the style and the personality of a leader are taking their chance and are being represented. Moreover, in order to ensure this right, we should provide women with education because by educating a woman, you educate a community.

In the 21st century, many women are coming up in government and it’s really important to give them the mentorship they need to grow their careers; and to motivate other women to act like them. This way, women will embrace a participative empowering consensus-building style of leadership and women will change the nature of power; power will not change the nature of women.

Contributed by:

Iram Akhtar

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