Jose Carbajal, Ph.D., LCSW, SFASU Assistant Professor

Women and Leadership: The Lack of Empathy for Women Ascending to Leadership Positions

Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on women and leadership. The literature on women leadership shows that women might not become CEOs because lack of sponsors, lack of leadership career aspirations, gender inequality, and the expectation of leadership styles to be based on masculine characteristics. These findings reveal that women fall under the expected norm of leadership even though their preferences are otherwise, which is an injustice to their leadership proficiency and aptitude. That is, the literature shows that there are leadership styles that are more fitting for women. Moreover, leadership styles are more effective when they are based on context. Furthermore, gender inequality is often portrayed as age discrimination not as a multidimensional problem, which obfuscates possible solutions. Faith has influenced women’s ascension to leadership due to a patriarchal society system that most Judeo-Christians have accepted as norm. Future research suggestions and methods to decrease inequality for women are provided. In addition, a personal and a clinical note will be used to demonstrate the effects of a patriarchal society expectation on women’s ascension to leadership.