Women and Leadership

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Week 9: Women and Leadership

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As equality has increased in the United States, the topic of women in leadership roles has grown as a research topic. According to Northouse (2016), the topic of gender equality has evolved as researchers are now more interested in whether women are actually more effective leaders than men in some situations. Though the gender gap is markedly narrowing, some may claim that women face a double-standard in leadership roles for a variety of reasons. This week, you will consider the role of women in leadership positions as you determine how you, as a leader, might find ways to manage gender-related issues.

Required Readings

Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks: CA: Sage Publications.

  • Chapter 15, “Gender and Leadership” (pp. 397-426)

Cheung, F. M., & Halpern, D. F. (2010). Women at the top: Powerful leaders define success as work + family in a culture of gender. American Psychologist, 65(3), 182–193.

Folta, S. C., Seguin, R. A., Ackerman, J., & Nelson, M. E. (2012). A qualitative study of leadership characteristics among women who catalyze positive community change. BMC Public Health, 12, 383.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Discussion: Women in Leadership and Social Change

Research on women in leadership is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the 1970s, researchers began looking at gender differences as they relate to leadership. Research has shown women at a slight disadvantage in male dominated areas, a slight advantage in female dominated areas, and greater use of transformational and contingent leadership styles. Women are significantly underrepresented in major leadership jobs. According to Folta, Seguin, Ackermann, & Nelson (2012), however, women in leadership may have a higher visionary approach to community and social change, despite their underrepresentation.

Awareness is the first step to facing challenges. For this Discussion, read the Folta article. Consider the impact that women in leadership roles can have on community and social change. Consider what leadership approaches and theories women might need to accentuate to lessen their apparent underrepresentation in major leadership jobs.

Post your analysis of the impact that women in leadership roles might have on community and social change. Describe the leadership approaches and theories women in leadership roles might further develop in order to strengthen their representation in major leadership jobs.

Note: Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


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