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How Women Leaders Overcome Conflicting Expectations

Idea posted: March 2021
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Societal expectations concerning gender and leadership attributes pull women leaders in opposite directions: if strong, they are criticized for not being empathetic or likeable; if empathetic, they are criticized for not being strong enough. The best women leaders thrive by managing these tensions through a paradox mindset.

Idea #788
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Her Complexities, Jennifer Main, www.jennifermaingallery.com

How Women Leaders Can Avoid the Gender Trap

Idea posted: January 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
Institutions: IMD

There is a ‘Gender Trap’ that women leaders face. The received wisdom that female executives looking to get ahead should adopt male leadership traits is defunct. Traits a male can ‘get away with’, or even be praised for, are perceived very differently in a woman. To break the trap and cultivate a winning leadership style: women must live up to collective expectations of what makes a leader, but remain true to certain gender expectations too. 

Idea #072
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