The paper "Gender Balance in Leadership " is an outstanding example of management coursework. The notion that gender roles are natural has been challenged by feminists (Rao, 1999). In essence, gender roles are classifications that are socially constructed under the influence of overarching patriarchy within the families, communities and society. Sinclair asserts that it is thus very crucial that these classifications based on patriarchy are defied and deconstructed (2005). Whereas males are thought as powerful, superior and as the representation on the society ‘ norm’ the females are considered secondary, autonomy, inferior and powerless.
The socialization power underlying this system cannot be overlooked. Actually patriarchy and sexism are so deeply ingrained in the consciousness of the society that they are hardly visible. The males have woven the social fabric in support of their male counterparts. In many bureaucratic organizations, corporate or governmental, most leadership positions are reserved for men. On the other hand, supportive positions that are important in keeping the males in power are concentrated by females. Therefore, the privileges, the power and prestige that come with the positions of power generally depend on the subordinate roles played by females.
This power ordering, therefore, has crucial impacts on women leadership (Acker, 1992). Over the years women have been marginalized in most societies. The management of gender inequality has therefore been a major concern to most organizations. First, gender equality is a human right. Every girl and woman is entitled to live in security and indignity. Second gender equality is in itself a development goal (Gaventa et al, 2001). In many countries, women have limited access to employment and educational opportunities as compared to men.
In addition, women’ s earnings are generally less as compared to men’ s and women’ s chances to advancement are limited due to the endurance of social restrictions and deprivation of financial access. In some developing countries, women are still restricted from voting, property ownership and are only allowed to move outside their home in the company of a male family member (Rao, 1999). Consequently, this constitutes a significant constraint on human rights as well as sustainable development. Women empowerment and participation in social and economic development is fundamental in the building of stronger economies.
Although much has been done to mitigate gender inequality worldwide, it is true that there is no region in the world where men and women are equal in economic social and rights. In any organization, the gender equality perspective is important in individual projects as well as the internal structures of the organization. Additionally, every individual’ s personal attitude in the organization towards gender equality has influential impacts on the organization’ s sustainable development. A positive gender equality attitude is very crucial in the development of any organization. It is notable that in the number of women in a position of leadership and decision making is also not equal to that of men globally (Kabeer, 1994). Consequently, management of gender inequality within an organization can be an impediment to the reduction of inequality in the individual projects.
Both women and men can be allowed to take part in the projects’ activities but the number of women in decision-making sectors is limited or when the final decisions are made their decisions are ignored. According to Wajcman ( 1998), this type of inequality is common in many organizations.
Proper management of gender inequality should, therefore, clarify the decision-making process and the importance of gender within the organization’ s activities should be well defined. It is important to note that gender equality does not only regard the number of women and men present in and organization but it also concerns the roles played by the different parties within the organization.
Acker, J. (1992) Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organization, Gender and Society, 4(2): 139-158
Gaventa, et al. (2001) Bringing citizen voice and client focus into service delivery’, IDS Working paper138, Brighton:IDS.
Kabeer, N. (1994) Reversed Realities: Gender hierarchies in development thought, London: Verso
Rao, A., Stuart, R & Kelleher (1999) Gender at Work, West Hartford, Conn. USA: Kumarian Press.
Sinclair, A. (2005) Doing Leadership Differently, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press
Wajcman, J. (1998) Managing Like a Man: Women and Men in Corporate Management, Cambridge: Polity Press
Wor ld Bank. (2001) Endangering Development through Gender Equity in Rights Resources and Voice, Washington: World Bank