Women Stereotypes in Leadership and Business

Women stereotypes flow from business to leadership, from politics to laws. Countries do not prioritize gender balance, and often, if admitted, women’s distresses are treated as unimportant political matters. Women’s freedoms and autonomy are either limited or completely non-existent in some parts of the world. Many countries have historically sustained obsolete ideas of women. The topic of gender disparity and stereotyping has been widely discussed in the recent past. An in-depth research in governance, masculinity roles, typecasting, and courtesy aids this writing. This essay focuses on the popular stereotypes of how women use leadership styles and how they relate to their subordinates of different genders. Furthermore, the aim of this writing is to explain that there are no big differences between men and women in terms of capability. In addition, the paper outlines what needs to be changed - from policies and laws to societal attitudes.



In its simplest sense, gender stereotyping refers to the act of attributing to an individual, regardless whether it is a woman or a man, of a specific niche, qualities, or traits based on his or her membership in the social group of women or men. Gender stereotyping becomes destructive when it ultimately ends up violating a particular group`s rights, freedoms, and entitlements. For example, a state or a nation may fail to outlaw nuptial rape based on the infamous societal belief that women are men`s sexual possessions. A gender stereotype is defined as a haphazard presumption about characteristics that an individual should exhibit or the roles that he/she ought to perform. When a gender stereotype restrains men`s and women`s personal capacities to develop their professional lives and make individual choices, it becomes harmful. Child upbringing, for example, has been exclusively women`s responsibility because of the general belief or stereotype that women are more nurturing than men. Gender stereotypes have been extant for long, and it is very hard to change people`s obsolete perceptions and beliefs. Although there has been a slight change in the way society perceives men and women, a majority of people still prefer men over women as their leaders. Nonetheless, women leaders become increasingly more common. There is a rising acceptance of women in leadership. Thus, the adverse attitude that most people hold against female leadership and management slowly fades away.

Women constitute 50% of the world`s population and take up to three-fifths of college degrees. Furthermore, 47% of workers across the globe are women, and in every election period, 53% of the total voters are women. Despite all these overwhelming facts, women assume less than 20% of lucrative leadership positions in all sectors. Although women’s representation in both business and political worlds has improved over time, it is still inadequate as compared to their immense role and numbers. The United States is globally ranked in the 80th place in terms of women representation in legislative organs. Surprisingly, the USA has been surpassed by Iraq and Afghanistan - countries historically known to marginalize women. A 2012 survey of 500 Fortune companies has found that less than 5% of CEO slots and slightly above 15% of board seats are held by women. Women with disabilities, women from marginalized groups, migrant women, or women with lower economic statuses suffer the adverse consequences of gender stereotypes. In the past, the administration was ascribed to two things - professed or genuine characteristic attributes and circumstance. Leadership was a byproduct of honorably improbable men. From that point forward, society adapted substantially more knowledge about authority – enough to know it was not the consequence of only one variable. In particular, the administration is in any event, found in the eye of the adherent.

Thralls, Chemers, and Bannon observed that the differences between male and female leaders could be explained through three hypothetical interpretations - cultural differences, structural differences, and biological differences. Functional distinctions produce not significant disparities in real governance capability. Management styles differ, particularly in the appeal candor and consequently, in the apparent graciousness. Therefore, there is little variance in actual headship capacity between the two genders. The existent challenge with womenfolk in leadership is the insolences of those in their circles.

In most cases, women are perceived to lack career direction, leadership probity, and they are fickle and enthusiastically insecure. Such withering feelings toward women in the workplace aim to portray them as inappropriate contenders for leadership positions. A widely held belief about women in commerce is that only a strictly extraordinary woman can thrive in the business realm. Male managers were cast as predominant contenders who played governmental issues inside chains of command and who were extraordinary at driving with potency, while female administrators were to comprehend implications and communication and steer individuals and groups. With this view, the business world has built up an entire hypothesis of the assumptions and inclinations about what is in store for men and female leaders. Additionally, as most presumptions, these gathered contrasts have tackled their very own existence. After some time, society learned to be good at categorizing individuals and, eventually, chaining men and women to these generalizations.

Indeed, there are divergences amongst men and women. Nonetheless, I would contend that not all men display what we have come to identify as male initiative, and not all female leaders express what understand as a female leadership. Male and female leaders devour certain strong points and indistinctness. Their strengths are that they set stout borders, allocate vibrant tasks and liabilities, eliminate poor players, and keep delicate material intimate. However, like any other leader, they too have susceptibilities. They will segregate workers and divisions, dissuade collaboration and association, and they will be tenacious, obstinate, and excessively competitive. Furthermore, they will dampen variety, risk taking, and invention. On the other hand, what we contemplate as "feminine" leadership is progressively acclaimed as the superior leadership style. Its strong sides are that it heightens cooperation, nurtures responsibility through patrician pressure, inspires modernization through teamwork, and endorses open correspondence, interaction, and knowledge. Nevertheless, this flair of leadership has its weaknesses too. It blurs borders between people, and it is scrawny on responsibility. It also heartens self-satisfaction through lack of antagonism, and it is engrossed in procedure at the expense of outcomes.

Pigeonholes, or stereotypes, take long to eliminate. In the most recent survey, 63% of the American populace contended that the state would be better off if it were led by more women leaders. If one bothers to examine the alterations between female and male control styles, one can apprehend why a majority of Americans would prefer a female leader. Mere two decades ago, male and female leaders had a portion of the elucidation indispensable for the present-day management. Both added a particular power and weakness to our contemporary appreciation of inordinate governance. We have grown up in a philosophy that has traditionally raised prosperous male leaders from Barack Obama and Richard Branson to the legendary Martin Luther King and innovative Steve Jobs. The Western world proclaims theories of "great men", painting male leaders as modest, artistic, authoritative, masterful, gallant, enigmatic, and sometimes peculiar. There is no woman leader or innovator to appear in the masculine epitomes of leadership. Instead, women are perceived as deviant. Subsequently, women are characterized and branded by constricted and restrictive language. They become resigned falsifications.

Often, women are attributed with undesirable qualities such as acrimonious, irritable, egocentric, and others. These negative descriptions suggest that female leaders have an unrestrained drive for supremacy and triumph. Men are voted to demand less from their subordinates in sticking to set rules and achieving a particular task; hence, they are perceived more favorable as leaders. On the other hand, women are considered stricter in dealing with subordinates, which makes them less favorable. These variations exist even where the task is the same. People only identify a change. Perceiving women as extra task-focused may be an echo of the larger disparity between the leadership role and the gender stereotype.

Recommendations for Overcoming Stereotyping

Women stereotyping and inequality in both business and leadership sectors is one of the critical concerns to the world and the women themselves. Despite the fact that the situation has improved over time, much more needs to be done. There is an urgent need to develop the programs and policies for eradicating gender typecasts while promoting equality in education curricula, leadership positions, economic and political representation. Best practices, such as gender-sensitive awareness campaigns, training and incorporating gender studies in schools, are needed in order to nurture equality at an early age. There is also a need to encourage and fortify active collaboration among social stakeholders to minimize sexual segregation and gender disparities in the employment sector. This goal can be achieved by taking pragmatic steps to equalize leadership positions and board seats. Remuneration gap should also be looked into while enlightening the appraisal of the work value, especially in the jobs dominated by women. Lastly, gender stereotyping can be dealt with through the establishment of relevant institutions, vocational training, and implementation of gender mainstreaming policies.


Even though there is a deviation negative perception of women towards the positive, gender stereotypes are still deeply rooted within the fabric of the contemporary society. Women concerns do not make to the top of the agenda list, because they are considered as secondary political matters. Though it`s obvious that there is no significant capacity differences between men and women, the later often take the negative attributes, are perceived to be weak and unfavorable candidates for leadership positions, while the former (men) are voted favorites to lead. The stereotyping problem is further compounded by the a society that has for long, held a supernatural belief on men`s ability. All these many issues surrounding women pigeonholes have been the focuses of this essay. The popular stereotypes of how women use leadership styles and how they relate to their subordinates of different genders. In addition, to explain that there are no big differences between men and women in terms of capability; besides looking at what needs to be changed.

Feb 9, 2020 in Socioligy
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