Girls work in teams. Boys take it on themselves

March 2005
Management Services;Spring2005, Vol. 49 Issue 1, p12
Academic Journal
This article presents a study which examined leadership in young boys and girls. The study shows that gender differences are often established from a very young age. While the emphasis has sometimes been to try and change women to be like men in order for them to succeed at work, the research says people should be looking at how to bring female thinking and leadership into organizations. Hilarie Owen, founder of the Institute of Leadership, spent two years talking to 5 to 18 year olds exploring leadership in young people. She found that children as young as 5 and 6 years said there was a difference between how girls and boys practice leadership. This research helps people understand why women still have obstacles to overcome in their careers. There has been much emphasis on the external issues such as organizational barriers, stereotyping and male chauvinism but people also have to understand internal barriers. When asked whether they considered themselves to be a leader, less than a fifth of girls said yes, compared to almost half of the boys. Leadership for girls is more about relationships with those they lead, while boys perceive leadership as expressing themselves in a certain way.


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