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Bush once described his role as “the decider,” but there is much more to modern leadership than that. Modern leaders must be able to use networks, to collaborate, and to encourage participation. Women’s non-hierarchical style and relational skills fit a leadership need in the new world of knowledge-based organizations and groups that men, on average, are less well prepared to meet.In the past, when women fought their way to the top of organizations, they often had to adopt a “masculine style,” violating the broader social norm of female “niceness.” Now, however, with the information revolution and democratization demanding more participatory leadership,Michael Kors keaton slip on sneakers the “feminine style” is becoming a path to more effective leadership.

In order to lead successfully, men will not only have to value this style in their women colleagues,Michael Kors keaton slip on sneakers but will also have to master the same skills.That is a trend, not (yet) a fact. Women still lag in leadership positions, holding only 5% of top corporate positions and a minority of positions in elected legislatures (just 16% in the US, for example, compared to 45% in Sweden). One study of the 1,941 rulers of independent countries during the twentieth century found only 27 women, roughly half of whom came to power as widows or daughters of a male ruler. Less than 1% of twentieth-century rulers were women who gained power on their own.

So, given the new conventional wisdom in leadership studies that entering the information age means entering a woman’s world, why are women not doing better?Lack of experience, primary caregiver responsibilities, bargaining style, Michael Kors keaton slip on sneakers and plain old discrimination all help to explain the gender gap. Traditional career paths, and the cultural norms that constructed and reinforced them, simply have not enabled women to gain the skills required for top leadership positions in many organizational contexts.Research shows that even in democratic societies, women face a higher social risk than men when attempting to negotiate for career-related resources such as compensation. Women are generally not well integrated into male networks that dominate organizations, and gender stereotypes still hamper women who try to overcome such barriers.

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