The Female Leadership Advantage: an Evaluation of the Evidence

Monday 14 November 2016

Journalists and authors of trade books increasingly assert a female advantage in leadership, whereby women are more likely than men to lead in a style that is effective under contemporary conditions. Contrasting our analysis of these claims with Vecchio’s [Leadersh. Q. 13 (2002) 643] analysis, we show that women have some advantages in typical leadership style but suffer some disadvantages from prejudicial evaluations of their competence as leaders, especially in masculine organizational contexts. Nonetheless, more women are rising into leadership roles at all levels, including elite executive roles. We suggest reasons for this rise and argue that organizations can capture the symbols of progressive social change and modernity by appointments of women in key positions.