Do we need specific models for women in leadership?


I would argue that especially in typically male dominated contexts, women cannot simply strive to emulate male approaches to leadership. I would never mentor a successful or emerging woman leader suggesting her success will occur simply by her emulating her male leader colleagues.

There are so many nuances of gender differences, uniquenesses and the way people react to male and female styles of engagement. 

On another level altogether, one could argue alternatively that there are no intrinsically gender biased ways of thinking, feeling and interacting. This perspective supports the notion that, despite traditional role differentiations, there is nothing specifically masculine or feminine today in being empathetic or confrontational, creative or analytical, protective or provocative. In this bias, the whole business of intrinsic gender polarities lack legitimacy. No single human quality belongs exclusively to the domain of either gender.

When we think of leadership qualities coming in polarities, like sensitivity and standards, success always in the long run requires the wisdom of both-and.