LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS AND GENDER
This research paper on the subject of Leadership Effectiveness and Gender attempts to conduct a focused amount of research to answer the question about the correlation between gender and leadership effectiveness. It specifically looks at the current definitions of leadership and looks at some historical background information relating to the more common theories that relate to leadership and effectiveness. It also delves into some of the more traditional leadership theories as well as some of the more modern day theories and attempts to identify why there is still a considerable absence in top military leadership by female officers. Of the 284 Air Force general officers on active duty today, there are only females among them, for a 2% representation. My claim is that there is more of a hidden bias by men against women than there is a logical reason for this under- representation of women in the senior ranks. This paper focuses on this sensitive subject area, and hopefully raises readers‘ awareness of the presence of this bias that still exits today.
This research was conducted by using a variety of current books and periodical articles on the topic of leadership and gender and effectiveness. It is by no means an exhaustive study, but merely points out there are really no good explanations as to why women are still so underrepresented in the senior ranks besides the age old stereotypes that keep women lagging behind men in the highest ranks. This paper shows that there is virtually no empirical evidence that suggests that simply by being male, one has the corner on the —leadership market.“ And it is my hope that this paper leads to more in- depth study on the leadership and gender aspects of military leadership as we head into the next century. Women are here to stay in the US military, and it would serve us all well to not deny senior leadership positions to those well-deserving women, simply because they are women.