Women in Leadership Part 2 – by Caroline Simard

While everyone has their own leadership style to a certain
extent, and while all of us exercise leadership in our lives (whether it’s managing
2,000 employees or raising our children), there is a lot of speculation on
whether men and women tend to lead differently. Research on how leadership styles
differ by gender is mixed – some studies find a difference, while others show
no gender effect.



In a Harvard
Business Review article
), Judy Rosener’s research showed how male leaders
are more likely to use a “command-and-control” leadership style where formal authority
and a focus on the task at hand drive action by subordinates, while female
leaders are more likely to report using a “transformational leadership”
approach, motivating others to embrace broader organizational goals and building
inter-personal relationships. Alice Eagly, author of Through
the Labyrinth
performed a meta-analysis of all such research studies and found
that indeed, women leaders tend to rely more on transformational
 This leadership style,
she found, is “more akin to being an excellent teacher than a traditional boss”,
growing others for success and enhancing overall employee leadership capacity.


The best leadership approach depends on organizational
culture and context, yet transformational leadership has been shown to be more effective
overall in environments necessitating collaboration and innovation and high
levels of organizational change, such as the high-tech industry.


Attributes of
Transformational Leaders:

Individual consideration to other’s needs

Mentoring and coaching others to be successful

Challenges assumptions and invites ideas from others

Creates and articulates a vision that others want to

Trust is built with co-workers and employees



Examples of transformational leaders according to various


Mother Theresa

Angela Merkel, Chancellor,

Eleanor Roosevelt

Golda Meir

Queen Elizabeth I



Mahatma Ghandi

Martin Luther King Jr.

Nelson Mandela

Bill Gates of Microsoft

Lou Gerstner of IBM