Why are there not more women in leadership roles? It is important that this question gets answered in order for women to become more powerful role models. Recently, we have started to see women striving to be equal to men in the work force. Women are currently fighting for equal pay and equal opportunities to be in leadership roles, which makes this research important. Previous research has looked at gender inequality in leadership roles, powerful female leaders empowering other female leaders, and if women are being put in leadership roles that set them up for failure, and if media’s way of portraying women in leadership roles having a negative effect on them. Women have great leadership qualities if only they are given the right opportunities to assist them in being successful leaders.
- Do women face gender inequality in leadership roles?
Gipson, Pfaff, and Mendelsohn (2017), explained the gender inequality that women face when it comes to leadership. As of today, men still occupy a majority of the higher leadership positions within larger organizations. In the United States, we recently had our first women run for president. Since this has happened, it has been imperative that we are aware of how gender effects the type of leader a person becomes. Along with the position they are selected for within an organization. Gipson, Pfaff, and Mendelsohn also examined if men or women performed better as leaders. Previous to this study, research on women in leadership positions focal point was on stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Researchers has used these focal points as the main reason for the difference in leadership experience pertaining to gender. Their study was quantitative and their outcome proved to be similar despite gender. Men are often chosen for leadership positions over women. The research provided prove that leadership positions vary for men and women in the United States and around the world. It also proved that men were selected more frequently for high-level leadership positions over women. In conclusion, this article proved that men are selected more often for leadership positions than women, but men are not better leaders that women. There is still more research that needs to be done to prove this.
- Do successful female leaders inspire other female leaders to be more successful?
Latu, Lammers, and Bombari (2013) examined if the exposureto successful female politicians empowered women’s behavior in various leadership tasks. The authors were also trying to prove that by doing this, the gap in gender when it comes to job performance would start to decrease. In order to prove their hypothesis, they did a qualitative study. The sample size for the study was one hundred and forty nine college students, who were both male and female. In their study, they observed their participants giving a speech. According to Latu, Lammer, and Bombari (2013), “The leadership task was to give a persuasive public speech in front of a 12-person audience in a Virtual Reality Environment. This technology allowed us to study actual behavior in an experimentally controlled yet subtly changed environment” (para 7). Some of the measures that they used in this study were, keeping track of the participants speaking time, their perceived speech quality, and afterwards, they had each participant evaluate their own performance. Their hypotheses was accepted, which means that the successful female role models were helpful in inspiring the women’s behavior in their leadership role. Due to the highly successful female role models, the women in this study showed more empowered behavior overall. When the women gave their speeches, they were perceived from the person rating them as more empowered and their speech quality was improved. Also, when the women perceived their own performance, they had a more positive view of themselves. This study was helpful in proving that women motivate other women and having more women in high power positions allows women to become more powerful leaders. Although this research was helpful, more research needs to be done on the effect of female political role models on successful leadership behavior.
- Are women put in leadership roles that cause them to fail?
Haslam and Ryan (2008), completed research on women being put in leadership roles that were associated with more of an increased risk of failure and criticism than men were. The reason for this is that women are put in leadership positions that are more likely to involve managing organizations that are in crisis. Their sample size was ninety five graduate students who were enrolled in an international management course at a British university. The participants took part in the study as part of a class exercise. The median age of participants were twenty four years old. Sixty one of the participants were female and thirty two were male. Two participants of the study did not reveal their gender. Haslam and Ryan completed a quantitative study and used a chi-square analysis to examine the study. The study was the first one to prove that the glass cliff phenomenon does exist. It also showed the importance of the organizations performance in deciding rather a male or female is the better choice for a leadership role. It was not expects, but the participants ended up ranking the female candidates higher than the male candidates. The female candidate was seen as more desirable for a leadership role when the organizations success was declining than when its performance was improving. Unfortunately, their study was not significant and they were unable to prove their hypothesis. In future studies, more research needs to be done to explain the processes that create the glass cliff phenomenon.
- Does talking about women’s advantages in leadership hurt or help women?
Lammers and Gast (2017), completed a study trying to prove rather or not the media portraying women’s advantages in leadership was helpful or hurtful to women in gaining leadership roles. They completed four different experiments within their study. Their samples were different in each experiment. Experiment one’s sample was one hundred US American Mturk users. Forty seven were women and fifty three were men. Only workers with an approval rate of ninety percent or higher were allowed to participate. Experiment two’s sample was one hundred and fifty US American Mturk users. Forty three were women and one hundred and seven were men. Experiment three’s sample was one hundred and five Prolific Academic users. Forty six were women and 59 were men. Experiment four’s sample was three hundred and two US American Mturk users. One hundred and thirty seven were women and one hundred and sixty five were men. This experiment was quantitative. Experiment one had the participants in a controlled setting reading information from different articles. After reading, all of the participants completed Likert scale. Similar measures were used in experiments two, three and four to complete the research. These findings were significant and the hypothesis was supported. Lammers and Gast put together a very detailed study. In the future more research is needed on a different sample of people.
H0: How to get more women in powerful leadership roles?
Sample: Two hundred and fifty NKU students in the organizational leadership graduate program.
Data: A survey through survey monkey would be sent out to the NKU organizational leadership graduate students through their email. This is a type of convenience sampling. The students would receive a five dollar gift card for completing the survey.
Generalizing: The study cannot be generalized because it is specifically looking at graduate students who are in the organizational leadership program.
Ethical considerations: Each student would have to give their name and address in order to receive the five dollar gift card. This means that their surveys would not be anonymous.
Analysis: Categorical data is collect through the survey. You collect the data and then analysis your results from the survey.
- Gipson, A. N., Pfaff, D. L., Mendelsohn, D. B., Catenacci, L. T., & Burke, W. W. (2017). Women and leadership: Selection, development, leadership Style, and performance. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 53(1), 32-65. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886316687247
- Haslam, S. A., & Ryan, M. K. (2008). The road to the glass cliff: Differences in the perceived suitability of men and women for leadership positions in succeeding and failing organizations. The Leadership Quarterly, 19(5) 530-546. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2008.07.011
- Lammers, J., & Gast, A. (2017). Stressing the advantages of female leadership can place women at a disadvantage. Social Psychology, 48(1), 28–39. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000292
- Latu, I. M., Mast, M. S., Lammers, J., & Bombari, D. (2013). Successful female leaders empower women’s behavior in leadership tasks. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(3), 444-448. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2013.01.003