Complete 2 pages APA formatted article: Leadership of the Sexes. ID No. Leadership and the Sexes Introduction Males and females differ with each other not only physiologically but also emotionally, cognitively and mentally. With such differences, they process information differently as influenced by emotion, gender experience and cultural factors. They have different focus in thinking process, as well as in verbal and communication approaches. With such variations in emotional and psychological set up, leading and managing by males and females vary. It would then be imperative for managers from both sexes to learn, acquire and strengthen the skills and behavior which are given less consideration due to their gender.
Men and women primarily differ due to their genetic make up and react to situations with corresponding influence from hormones. In stress and conflict, women produce the oxytocin hormone that tends to harmonize relationship while men produce testosterone which drives men to act aggressively. Scientific studies and tools emphasize on the distinction between the sexes. Using PET scan (monitors activity of neurons), MRI scan (shows flow of blood), and SPECT scan (tracks brain activity) on brain areas, it was revealed that with more activity, more blood flows in the “spatial-mechanical centers” on the right side of the male brain while for the female, blood flows more on the “verbal-emotive centers in both sides” (men tend to move around during meetings while women discuss matters). there is more gray matter on men (making them process singly and locally) while women have more of the white matter (they “process more globally” and evaluate the world regularly). the larger hippocampus in female brain makes them recall “more physical and situational details.” larger amygdala in females tends to resolve conflict by upward direction toward the verbal areas in the brain while for males, the direction is downward that tends to produce physical manifestation. and hormone secretion affects the thinking process of both genders differently (more testosterone and vasopressin in males makes them territorial and aggressive while more serotonin and oxytocin influence females towards calmness and bonding) (Gurian and Annis 3).
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Brain differences enable women to utilize participatory leadership (at ease with teamwork, value work relationships) and rationalize inductively, while men tend to use transactional leadership (testing people and ideas) and rationalize deductively. Women used to describe things, empathize with people, prefer “verbal interaction,” and capable of multitasking, while men directly tell people what should be done, assume risks, shun emotion, and “communicate in short-bursts” (3). However, other disciplines also contribute to the understanding of gender differences besides the scientific approach.
Gender differences are deeply ingrained in the genetic, physiological and physical make-up of a person. Moreover, the particular culture of the people has specific norms, beliefs and practices that require males and females to think and behave in pre-determined patterns. otherwise, they will be branded as social-deviants. The seeming deficiency of one gender cannot be modified easily since greater forces and influences affect them. Thus, gender-intelligence must be developed in males and females in the areas such as negotiation, meetings, communication and conflict to attain a balanced action and solution to corporate issues and problems.
A “gender-balanced leadership” recognizes the diversity in the corporate setting and the differences in the way males and females process information, react to situation, find remedies to problems, and relate to other people (4). Corporate leaders should encourage the employees to inculcate “more gender balance” (5). Strengths should be developed in each gender such as encouraging women to be more assertive, or men to focus on “work-life balance” (they produce oxytocin when they become fathers and bond readily) (5). Supporting and respecting females in the workplace recognize their gender difference and would greatly reduce employee turnover, reduce unnecessary expenditure from such turnover and increase productivity. To end, both males and females must receive the needed “gender-intelligent leadership and mentoring” (5). The genders complement each other for a balanced company.
Gurian, Michael and Barbara Annis. Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business. Jossey-Bass. 2008.
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