ERG SES C 10, Gender and Education
A simple cause and effect phenomenon in Dublin City University (DCU), presents an annual puzzle. The student population is 41% male and 59% female, however the Student Union is represented yearly by an 80% male stewardship. Except for an anomaly in 2005/2006, in which the trend was reversed to reflect an 80% female lead. Among all the leadership competitions, only one programme (Business Faculty) holds a 50-50 gender balance among its successful participants.
The question of gender has been widely debated in the leadership field, with scholars such as McKinsey (2009), Eagly, Johannesen-Schmidt and van Engen, (2003) arguing that women are less hierarchical, more cooperative, collaborative and transformational while men are viewed as transactional, directive and autocratic (Eagly & Johnson, 1990). However, gender quota arguments on diversity and gender balancing perspectives (Reed Smith 2013) have not adequately considered converse outcomes such as a ‘depression of political ambition’ among candidates (Davidson-Schmich, 2008).
If the preferred outcome of elections are to be perfectly gender balanced, as researchers we would be will advised to determine opinion among emergent leaders in a university campus. Student leaders compliment faculty and serve as the mouthpiece in the promotion of a cordial campus community. This ‘gender mouthpiece’ will be tested for differing parts of speech to include involved (pronouns) and informative (nouns) words.
Carl G. Jung’s concept of personality types greatly influenced leadership discussions. He proposed two fundamental types of personalities, which he called: introvert and extrovert. In addition, Floyd Henry Allport holds that human personality is composed of various traits which he groups into five classes: intelligence, motility, temperament, self-expression, and sociality (Bass 1981). Over the centuries, femininity has been stereotyped as dependent, submissive and conforming, and hence women have been seen as lacking in leadership qualities.
"The male bias is reflected in the false conception of leadership as mere command or control. As leadership comes properly to be seen as a process of leaders engaging and mobilizing the human needs of followers, women will be more readily recognized as leaders and men will change their own leadership styles" (Burns, 1978:50).
Burns (1978) argues that male leaders will become more transformational in practice to mirror female styles of leadership. In contrast, Bass (1981) suggests that leadership can simultaneously display both transformational and transactional leadership traits. If this is the case, do male and female leaders exhibit both transactional and transformational traits equally? If not, how does each gender differ? Can we confirm or disconfirm the stereotype that men use ‘I’ more than women do? Research on gender speech parts point towards Biber’s (1998) work that females use ‘involved’ words more and less ‘informative’ words while Pennebaker and Stone (2003) reveal males use more function words with females using more emotive words (Mehl and Pennebaker 2003).
Astin’s Input-Environment-Output model (1975) is the theoretical concept for transactional and transformational leadership. The study places particular emphasis on Astin’s involvement theory (1993), defined as students’ physical interaction and mental engagements combine to form the phenomenon of leadership involvement. Astin also proposes key active verb terms and pronouns as a measurement for involvement. These active verb terms and pronouns will be identified or eliminated among the research participants’ (clues) speech patterns (mouthpiece).
1 Ireland In December 2011, Phil Hogan, published the gender quota Bill. The Bill was passed in July 2012 and links the State funding of political parties to a requirement that female candidates will account for 30 per cent of their total number of electoral candidates at the next general election in 2016, with a view to increasing this to 40 per cent in seven years. 2 Germany's statutory gender quota for supervisory boards took effect at the beginning of the year 2016. Boardroom Quotas: The Slow Pace of Gender Equality in Corporate Germany http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-firms-slowly-adjust-to-new-boardroom-quota-law-a-1070622.html References Astin, A.W. (1993). What Matters in College? Four Critical Years Revisited. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Astin, A. W. (1975). Preventing students from dropping out. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bass, B. M. (1981). Stogdill’s handbook of leadership (rev. ed.). New York: Free Press. Biber, D., Conrad, S., & Reppen, R. (1998). Corpus linguistics: Investigating language structure and use. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper and Row. Davidson-Schmich, L. (2008). Gender quotas and political ambition: Evidence from Germany. Paper presented at MPSA Annual National Conference, Chicago, IL. Eagly, A. H., & Johnson, B. T. (1990). Gender and Leadership Style: a Meta Analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 108, 233-256. Eagly, A. H., Johannesen- Schmidt, M. C., & van Engen, M. (2003). Transformational, Transactional, and Laissez-Faire Leadership Styles: A Meta-Analysis Comparing Women and Men. Psychological Bulleting, 95, 569-591. George, A L. and Bennett A. (2005) Case studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences Cambridge Massachusetts London: MIT Press. McElroy, Keenan (2015) Who supports gender quotas in Ireland? An examination of attitudes in the eligibility pool. Paper presented at the 2015 Political Science Association of Ireland conference 16th-18th October 2015. TCD. Mehl, M. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2003). The sounds of social life: A psychometric analysis of students’ daily social environments and natural conversations. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 84, 857–870. Newman, Groom, Handelman and pennebaker (2008) Gender Differences in Language Use: An Analysis of 14,000 Text Samples. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 0163–853X print/1532–6950 online DOI: 10.1080/01638530802073712 Reed Smith. (2013). Gender Balancing: It's Good Business. A Guide to Making Diversity in Leadership Happen. (2013,January) Pennebaker, J. W., & Stone, L. D. (2003). Words of wisdom: Language use over the lifespan. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 85, 291–301.
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