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    The Evolution of Women in Leadership

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    Men have been in leadership roles since the beginning of time. Women have been in the background, supporting and making it easy for men to be leaders.

    Throughout the world women have been inconsistent conflicts to expand their influence to every aspect of life. As times changed and due to the increase in divorce rate, single women found they needed to be able to support themselves. Instead of the traditional, housekeeping and menial jobs women have always held, they have spread their wings and expanded into all areas of the work force. Margaret Thatcher, a woman leader of Britain, plus several other countries, have had women lead their nations. Even though Americans have not yet had a female President, the feminine expansion into leadership positions is significant. The future of female leadership is bright because Americans see women with experience in a vast array of fields as being ready to assume top elective positions (Wilson, 2000).

    The countrys attitude toward women in office has turned in a positive way and this means more and more opportunities will be open for women in the future (Wilson, 2000). Women have come into the workplace and taking over high position in the office. The American political climate is warming to female candidates at all levels of elective office. Women are now holding prestigious positions such as Supreme Court Justices, Senators Meeks 2and Congresswomen and many others in the United States Government.

    Different from men’s values, women have brought a new set of values and expectations to the world and to business. As if the fight to become leaders in the business world was not enough for women, they have also encountered immense opposition from their male counterparts after they have achieved the leadership status. Men resisted women getting to the position of leadership and they resist women leading them. Feminine leadership values in business are highly admirable qualities because absolute masculine control produces low quality work, is primarily self-centered, and is detrimentally competitive. One of the key characteristics of masculine leadership is a high level of control (Loden, 1985). This level of scrutiny makes a person feel unskilled.

    Delegating work may come more naturally for women than for men. In early times most of the responsibilities fell to women and they assigned work to their children. Feminine leadership values the idea of less control, more delegating. This lets the worker employ his or her own creativity and ideas to the job.

    When the job is complete, they have a feeling of achievement because they had an important part in its completion. When there is incentive to work and a feeling of achievement, the resulting labor is of higher quality. In fact, the Harvard Business Review asserts that a Meeks 3challenging job that offers feelings of achievement, responsibility, growth, advancement, enjoyment of work, and recognition motivates employees to work effectively (Gordon, 1977). Dienhart and Curnutt (1998) argue in their book Business Ethics that financial performance is improved for companies that treat employees well. Effective workers produce valuable product and feminine leadership facilitates this. Recently an identifiably masculine problem has arisen within many organizations.

    It is the idea that the role of a supervisor is simply to oversee the activity of others. These supervisors lack knowledge of particular vocations and do not regard that knowledge as important to their functioning. If an employee comes across a problem that they are not able to handle, or a question arises and the supervisor doesn’t know the job, then all respect is lost for him. The supervisor feels that his job is to give the speeches and sign the letters that his employees write. This is the position that every one competes to hold; the masculine leadership ideal is to be at the top of the ladder.

    However, superiors should be just that, superior in knowledge of all positions they supervisor. The feminist approach aims for compromise and consensus building for the good of the group. This way everyone feels like they play a part, the feeling of individual importance is established. This stems cooperation amongst group members, which promotes efficiency, effectiveness, and ultimately output. Because women have held menial jobs in past times, they tend to not view themselves as above knowing what each Meeks 4job consist of.

    Developing a leader was something that Peter Drucker and Christine Weiss both have in common. With the proper approach both men and women can become a successful leader with high-quality leadership skills. Weiss has two kinds of messages that are incorporated into the leadership training. One is that the members need specific skills, including the ability to facilitate a meeting or discussion, a good sense of organizational development. Organizational development and how it works with groups, plus a functioning network to provide information and knowledge (Weiss, 2001). Drucker has steps that contain these similar key points and skills.

    In the role of becoming a leader, these two authors have many common key points to becoming a professional leader of today. These leadership qualities can bring about change in society, distributing power evenly and encouraging decentralization of control. These steps will create excellent leaders in both women and men that are needed in a successful business place. With my major, which consists mostly of women, men have a harder time listening or even taking advice from women. As a dietitian, I will be encouraging and helping individuals to live a healthier life thorough exercise and eating properly.

    This could pose a problem, when a dietitian works with heart patients, which consist mostly of older men and the female dietitian educate the male heart patient towards a healthier diet. The male could actually be risking his life by not taking the females advises on what to do to Meeks 5live a healthier life. Some men will not listen to what the women dietitian has to say because of being a woman and others just dont go through with changing their diet and active levels. When taking my major, dietetics, and how it relates to the subject of leadership roles is an important matter. Having dietetics as my major relates to the leadership topic well because dietetics consists mostly of women.

    Women are the leaders of dietetics. At the heart of masculinism is the concept of competition (Loden, 1985, p. 23). This competition can be seen anywhere and everywhere, from sports to business.

    In sports, every boy strives to be the one that the college and professional scouts will see. In Feminine Leadership the lessons learned by many boys have less to do with teamwork than they do with competing and winning. In this sense, many men have a very different view of teamwork but not necessarily a more effective approach to managing teams (Loden, 1985). Females tend to value interpersonal relationships, while males are less likely to let such notions get in the way of competitive success (Dordrecht, Smith, & Rogers, 2000, p. 75). Success from the feminine perspective is achieved via true teamwork.

    Here success means the consensus of people in completing a task and a universal feeling of gratification about the results obtained. Again, when the employees of an organization feel important, and they feel they have input on their work, the resulting product is of much higher quality. Meeks 6Noting the benefits of understanding the particular issues and challenges facing modern women at the work place today (Straw, 2001). Prejudice, stereotypes, and sexual harassment are areas that professional women have to deal with in the work place.

    Thou these areas have eventually become less of a problem they still remain. While conscious prejudice and overt discrimination have some what diminishes, other subtler, but nonetheless problematic, barriers still exist, such as unconscious stereotypes, inflexible work structures and sexual harassment (Barnett, 2001). Equality of opportunity is at root about human rights, but it is also common sense for the organization since it can only prosper if it can attract and keep talented people from every background (Straw, 2000). Salaries are also an issue that seems to depend on your sex.

    Studies show that salary differences persist and limited career opportunities exist (Barnett, 2001). Professional females are getting pay less then men are for the same job position and title. Women leaders are going to have the disadvantages in the work place, but with more and more female leaders it is going to be accustom that women are leaders in todays society. Female leaders are dealing with an invaluable opportunies to discuss ways of increasing the number of women in top level positions at the work place.

    What made American industry grow and prosper in the past was its ability to capitalize on new ideas and move in new directions. Traditional masculine principles produce low quality work, are primarily self-centered, Meeks 7and are detrimentally competitive. Feminine principles support the needs of all employees, encourage cooperation, and generally produce higher quality work. Feminists leadership values are highly admirable qualities. To regain our prominence in the world marketplace, new ideas and new approaches to leading and managing are needed once again. The majority of male leaders in business must work hard to incorporate these effective feminine ideas.

    Meeks 8 Works CitedBarnett,M. (2001). Womens issues after all. ABA Journal, 87, 10-12. Dienhart,J. , & Curnutt,J.

    (1998) Business Ethics. USA: ABC-CLIO. Dordrecht, Smith, & Rogers,V. (2000). Ethics-related responses to specific situation vignettes: Evidence of gender-based differences andoccupational socialization.

    Journal of Business Ethics, 28. 1, 73-86. Retrieved November 1,2001,From ProQuest Database. Drucker, P. (1999).

    Management Challenges for the 21st Century. New York: HarperBusiness. Gordon, T. (1977). Leader Effectiveness Training L. E.

    T. USA: Wyden. Loden, M. (1985).

    Feminine Leadership or How to Succeed in Business Without Being One of the Boys. USA: Time. Straw, J. (2001). UK Government: Jack Straw supports women in public service leadership. M2 Presswire, 1-2.

    Retrieved November 8, 2001, From ProQuest Database. Wallace, R. (2000). Women and religion: The transformation of leadership roles. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 39, 497-508. Weiss, C.

    (2001). Traditions and transition. The World and I, 16, 198-207. Retrieved November 8, 2001, From ProQuest Database. Wilson,C.

    (2000). The rising tide of Womens leadership. USA Today, 128, 30–32. Retrieved November 8, 2001, From ProQuest Database.Words/ Pages : 1,944 / 24

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