Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 136-143
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0149
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
Women have incorporated into the labour market and also at all levels of the educational system in a massive way, particularly since the second half of the 20th century. However, from a transversal perspective, the situation of women is not similar to that of men. The reality is that women meet many barriers to fully develop a career that allows them to occupy positions of high responsibility. After being subject to stricter standards for promotion, they are still underrepresented in top management positions, because there is a so-called glass ceiling that prevents them to get up there. This leads them to remain stagnant in middle responsibility roles, which are below their potential. Moreover, when women climb to upper management jobs, they still face another form of discrimination, because they are often appointed to positions that are more precarious and associated with a higher risk of failure than those occupied by men. Gender stereotypes and the perceived incongruity between the female role and leadership roles (i.e., think manager-think male) are the main mechanisms that help us to understand these phenomena. However, new demands on organizations are producing changes in the definition of what a good leader. It seems that nowadays a good leader should be more focused on people, be less agentic and more communal. Order and control is valued less, while know to how to communicate, listen, teach, and encourage are appreciated much more. Those elements are closer to the transformational leadership qualities, that the qualities of the traditional leader. Particularly, transformational leader enhances the motivation, morale, and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms. Transformational leadership encompasses four dimensions, that is, individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, and idealized Influence. It is considered in general androgynous (i.e., masculine and feminine) or even slightly feminine. Therefore, despite the female university students finish their degrees and postdegrees with excellent grades, even better than their male peers, when they are incorporated into the labour market and wish to promote to management positions, they should bet on this kind of leadership. In fact, empirical evidence suggests that female leaders are more transformational than male leaders. On the basis of a review of the most recent studies on the topic, the aim of this paper is to analyze the implications of transformational leadership for current female university students who may be the future leaders in the medium to long term.
Gender, university students, transformational leadership.