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1 Dilemmas of Gender and Diversity. 2 Orientation The diversity challenge - consequences for leadership of treatment of gender More women in leadership.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Dilemmas of Gender and Diversity. 2 Orientation The diversity challenge - consequences for leadership of treatment of gender More women in leadership."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Dilemmas of Gender and Diversity

2 2 Orientation The diversity challenge - consequences for leadership of treatment of gender More women in leadership positions, but not senior organizational positions. Why? Older maps had leadership in terms of masculine attributes and are being increasingly challenged. (e.g. nature of gender differences for collaborative and nurturing behaviours). The shift raises dilemmas of tokenism and discrimination (e.g. glass ceilings)

3 3 Platforms of Understanding Theory of female advantage and diversity dilemmas Vecchio - dominant theories of male supremacy replaced with mirror-image female theories Eagly & Carli – female styles offer performance advantages over male ones Nkomo & Cox – perspectives of discrimination and diversity as a neutral characteristic of social groups.

4 4 Vecchio - Leadership & Gender Differences Male leadership advantage being replaced by a symmetrical assumptions of female advantage Leaders categorized as either feminine or masculine with distinct gender determined styles Male styles previously concerned with tasks and female ones with concern for people Veccio maps gender is socially determined. A Leaders behaviours are not predicted by feminine or masculine style dimensions, Each leaders displays behaviours associated with male and female characteristics

5 5 Eagly & Carli: Female Leadership Advantage Theory Doubt cast on Vecchios rejection of female leader advantage Evidence of consistent differences between men and women on measures of transformational leadership Transactional styles of leadership show no gender- based differences The link between female leadership practices and effective performance stronger than that for male leadership practices

6 6 Context of Prejudice Eagly & Carli argue that there is wide ranging prejudice towards female leaders Contributes to glass-ceiling effects and continuing discrimination against women in top positions Potential advantage of women leaders with transformational styles for supporting change Aspirin Effect: term coined for studies prompting immediate action based on a small but significant overall effect. The measured differences between male and female leaders are small, but enough to warrant (Aspirin effect) actions to eliminate glass ceiling effects.

7 7 Nkomo & Coxs Review of Diversity Gender studies part of wider issues of inequality and diversity Diversity poses theoretical and practical dilemmas Narrow characterisations of diversity emphasize discrimination as consequence of diversity (Race, ethnicity and gender are the big three) Broader views (maps) draw on theories of social identity and evolutionary health, and develop a case for celebrating diversity

8 8 Diversity & Identity Diversity Map of Nkomo & Cox helps explore nature of identity Theories of diversity deal with consequences of identity Social identity theory Organizational demography Ethnographic studies Race / gender studies

9 9 Remapping Diversity Celebrate diversity and relevance for enhancing innovation Restrictive nature of stereotyping arises from either-or thinking (us and them) Essentialist maps lead to difficulties in challenging such polarised beliefs Interpretive perspectives make it easier to challenge and transcend stereotyping

10 10 Margaret Thatcher Leadership Style o Physical appearance (symbolic significance) o Tougher than you approach anything but feminine o Brutal negotiator – no concessions o Autocratic – demonstrate superiority / humiliate Reputation o Charismatic o Courageous (seized leadership opportunities o Self-belief Downfall o Charismatic tipping point (hero to zero) o Non-consensual style had generated conditions for overthrow

11 11 Oriental Glass Ceiling Cultural factors still exclude women from leadership positions worldwide Defended by traditionalist groupings Dilemmas of gender + Work attitudes reinforced by cultural beliefs + Too masculine / not masculine enough Successful Women + Diligent and a strong will to succeed

12 12 Diversity leadership Management of organizational diversity becoming more accepted or at least on the agenda Entry barriers for restricted groups to leader positions being relaxed (elites relax entry conditions) Progress still restricted at higher levels of leadership in many institutional sectors One resolution of diversity dilemma – Build your own company

13 13 Summary Chapter has focussed on gender to expose dilemmas of diversity which apply more widely Stereotypical thinking ignores cues of social worth (e.g. evidence of women executives rating highly on transformational leadership factors). Diversity offers potential for superior performance, but may challenge leaders to understand and deal with differences Social identity maps suggest how diversity may be treated as a either a problem or an opportunity Reflection on dilemmas of diversity help overcome rigid (stereotyped) beliefs and suggest superior leadership strategies

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