Actual and Perceived Differences Between Male and Female Leaders

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Actual and Perceived Differences Between Male and Female Leaders Though we are similarly built, the physiological differences between male and female humans are quite easy to spot. Men and women differ in shape, size and reproductive organs; there is no question about that. Observing behavioral differences between men and women requires observation, statistical evidence and research. To accurately evaluate male and female behavioral differences, we must first understand perception, and to understand perception one must study how behavior is observed and interpreted. This opens up a new realm of possibilities, since societies throughout the world differ on their expected roles for male and female. For objectivity, this report will focus…show more content…
To understand differences between male and female leaders, it perhaps is best to understand how these differences are perceived. The perception of an individual can greatly differ depending on the viewpoint of the observer. A subject who is both educated and articulate can be defined by an observer as a worthy and accomplished individual. The observer in this case has assigned positive qualities to describe the subject. The same educated and articulate individual can be defined as conceited and stuck-up by a second observer. The second observer has assigned negative qualities to describe the individual. Suppose an unbiased scientific study concludes the educated and articulate individual is in fact worthy, accomplished, yet conceited and stuck-up, how is this possible and what does this say about the perception of the observers? According to Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, assistant professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, perceptions can and do change within the context of executive business; “successful women may face changing stereotypes as they move up the corporate ladder” (Rosette, 2010). Rosette conducted a study in which she had students evaluate male and female CEO’s. Though female top executives and middle managers were viewed less favorably, at the CEO level they were viewed more favorably than their male counterparts.
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