Thus, this paper intends to explore the issue of the difference in leadership styles between the two genders to answer the question: Are women better leaders?
In 1996, Belenky made a study on organizations run by women and identified how female leaders assumed their functions differently that from men. Belensky (1996) noted that women leaders “developed themselves as public leaders by extending and elaborating women’s traditional roles and women’s ways to an extraordinary degree” (p. 412). This statement can be supported by the case of Anne Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox who influenced people by working side by side with them through hard times.
Xerox then was in a time of financial bankruptcy; in fact, she herself worked for two consecutive years without a weekend off. Her passion and perseverance kept her going on despite the warnings of financial advisors that Xerox would not be able to make it. Mulcahy was not just an ordinary leader, she was very extra-ordinary that gender did not matter at all. Amazingly, she was able to change the course of Xerox and her successor is even a woman too.
It is easy to manage people when they are satisfied; however, good leaders emerge when the scenario is full of adversity. This is what made Mulcahy different since she rose from the ranks and took the helm without doubting herself. However, this does not mean that Mulcahy is a good leader because she is a woman; instead, she performed beyond her traditional role that is why she became a great leader.
Sex-typing of leadership abilities does not place women in higher position nor does it give them more respect. Rather, society should view women as “ people”, not “men and women” (Debate, p. 151). Women are managers and good leaders because they worked hard to educate themselves and earn professional experience. The successor of Mulcahy is Ursula