Leadership Traits

A Gender Issue?





Leadership Traits, Gender, Leadership styles, Woman, Man


Women are gradually assuming important leadership roles in the social, business and political spheres. For this reason, the difference in leadership style and characteristics of men and women leaders has been the subject of controversial discussions both in society and in academia. Even though it is a current subject, there are few studies in the literature about it. This research aims to identify the characteristics and style of leaders to understand whether gender influences leadership style. For that, an integrative systematic review was developed in the Scopus, Web of Science and Scielo databases, between 2010 and 2020, chosen and analyzed 22 publications. Characteristics and leadership styles of men and women were found and related. It was found that gender may not have a direct influence on the style and characteristics of leaders, as they are influenced by the gender stereotype they assume. A woman can have more masculine style and leadership characteristics if she adopts the male stereotype, and vice versa. The results point to the need for more research on leadership style and gender, especially the development of more comprehensive quantitative studies and also qualitative research that focus on the experience of women and men leaders in organizations.


Download data is not yet available.


ALONSO-ALMEIDA, M. D. M.; PERRAMON, J.; BAGUR-FEMENIAS, L. (2017) Leadership styles and corporate social responsibility management: Analysis from a gender perspective. Business Ethics, v. 26, n. 2, p. 147–161. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/beer.12139

AMARAL, M. R. do. (2019) EMPODERAMENTO DA MULHER EMPREENDEDORA: uma abordagem visando o enfrentamento de barreiras. Dissertação de Mestrado pelo Programa de Pós-graduação em Engenharia e Gestão de Conhecimento - PPGEGC. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina – UFSC. Florianópolis.

ANDERSEN, J. A.; HANSSON, P. H. (2011) At the end of the road? On differences between women and men in leadership behaviour. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, v. 32, n. 5–6, p. 428–441. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731111146550

BOTELHO, L. L. R.; CUNHA, C. C. de A.; MACEDO, M. (2011) O método da revisão integrativa nos estudos organizacionais. Revista Eletrônica Gestão e Sociedade, Belo Horizonte, v. 5, n. 11, p.121-136. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21171/ges.v5i11.1220

BOWEN, D. A.; HISRICH, R. (1986) The female entrepeneur: a career development perspective. Academy of Management Review. V.. 11, n. 2, p. 393-407. Recovered from http://www.jstor.org/stable/258468 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1986.4283366

BRANDT, T. (2020) Relationship of psychological capital and transformational leadership: Comparison of women and men. (Griffiths P., Ed.) Proc. Eur. Conf. Manag. Leadersh. Gov., ECMLG. Anais...Academic Conferences International. Recovered from https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85097883774&doi=10.34190%2fELG.20.028&partnerID=40&md5=2f44a55c13331a57307627e29fd71b11

CUADRADO, I.; GARCIA-AEL, C.; MOLERO, F. (2015) Gender-typing of leadership: Evaluations of real and ideal managers. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, v. 56, n. 2, p. 236–244. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/sjop.12187

DENIZCI GUILLET, B.; PAVESI, A.; HSU, C.H.C.; WEBER, K. (2019), "Is there such a thing as feminine leadership? Being a leader and not a man in the hospitality industry", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 31 No. 7, pp. 2970-2993. Recovered from https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2018-0486 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2018-0486

ESPER, A. J. F.; CUNHA, C. J. C. de A. (2014) Liderança autêntica: uma revisão integrativa. Navus - Revista de Gestão e Tecnologia, p. 60–72. DOI: https://doi.org/10.22279/navus.2015.v5n2.p60-72.254

FUNK, K. D. (2015) Gendered Governing? Women’s Leadership Styles and Participatory Institutions in Brazil. Political Research Quarterly, v. 68, n. 3, p. 564–578. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912915589130

GARCIA SOLARTE, M.; SALAS-ARBELAEZ, L.; GAVIRIA MARTINEZ, E. (2017) LEADERSHIP STYLES OF MEN AND WOMEN IN THE SMES. Ad-Minister, n. 31, p. 25–46. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17230/ad-minister.31.2

GARTZIA, L.; VAN ENGEN, M. (2012) Are (male) leaders “feminine” enough?:Gendered traits of identity as mediators of sex differences in leadership styles. Gender in Management: An International Journal, v. 27, n. 5, p. 296–314, 2012. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/17542411211252624

GIPSON, A. N.; PFAFF, D. L.; MENDELSOHN, D. B.; CATENACCI, L. T.; BURKE, W. W. (2017). Women and leadership: Selection, development, leadership style, and performance. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 53(1), 32–65. Recovered from https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886316687247 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886316687247

GUTIERREZ, E.J.D. (2016) Female principals in education: Breaking the glass ceiling in Spain, Paideia, v. 26, n. 65, p. 343-350. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/1982-43272665201611

IBANEZ-CUBILLAS, P.; MIRANDA PINTO, M. (2019) An exploration of e-leadership in virtual communities of practice. Edmetic, v. 8, n. 2, p. 73–90. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21071/edmetic.v8i2.12138

JONES, R. C.; SWISS, L. (2014) Gendered Leadership: The Effects of Female Development Agency Leaders on Foreign Aid Spending. Sociological Forum, v. 29, n. 3, p. 571–586. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/socf.12104

KISER, A. I. T. (2015) Workplace and leadership perceptions between men and women. Gender in Management, v. 30, n. 8, p. 598- +. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-11-2014-0097

KORN FERRY. (2021) Women CEOs speak: New Korn Ferry study quantifies success factors for future women CEOs. Recovered from https://www.kornferry.com/about-us/press/women-ceos-speak-new-korn-ferry-study-quantifies-success-factors-for-future-women-ceos

KUHLMANN, E.; OVSEIKO, P.V.; KURMEYER, C. et al. Closing the gender leadership gap: a multi-centre cross-country comparison of women in management and leadership in academic health centres in the European Union. Hum Resour Health 15, 2 (2017). Recovered from https://doi.org/10.1186/s12960-016-0175-y DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12960-016-0175-y

MARTINEZ-LEON, I. M.; OLMEDO-CIFUENTES; MARTINEZ-VICTORIA, M.C.; ARCAS-LARIO, N. (2020) Leadership style and gender: A study of spanish cooperatives. Sustainability (Switzerland), v. 12, n. 12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125107

MCKINSEY & CO. Women in the workplace 2020. (2020) Recovered from https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplace

PLACE, K. R.; VARDEMAN-WINTER, J. (2018) Where are the women? An examination of research on women and leadership in public relations. Public Relations Review, v. 44, n. 1, p. 165–173. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.10.005

PROWSE, J.; PROWSE, P.; PERRETT, R. (2020) ‘Women take care and men take charge’: The case of leadership and gender in the Public and Commercial Services Union. Economic and Industrial Democracy. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831X20943682

RODRIGUEZ, P.; MONTEQUÍN, V. R.; MORÁN, H.; ARRIBA, L. de. (2017) Gender influence in project management: analysis of a case study based on master students. Procedia Computer Science, v. 121, pp. 461-468, Recovered from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2017.11.062 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2017.11.062

RUILOBA NÚÑEZ, J. M. (2013) Liderazgo político y género en el Siglo XXI. Entramado, v. 9, n. 1, p. 142–155.

RUIZ ACOSTA, L. E.; CAMARGO MAYORGA, D. A. (2018) Estilos de liderazgo político de las presidentas elegidas democráticamente en Latinoamérica: un estudio usando modelos probabilísticos. Encuentros, v. 16, n. 1, p. 91–106. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15665/.v16i01.983

SABHARWAL, M.; LEVINE, H.; D’AGOSTINO, M. J. (2017) Gender Differences in the Leadership Styles of MPA Directors. Journal of Public Affairs Education, v. 23, n. 3, p. 869–884. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15236803.2017.12002293

SAIKI, D.; KANDIAH, J.; BEARD, K.; JONES, J. J. (2016) Leadership Styles and Collaboration Among Members of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal, v. 45, n. 1, p. 17–33. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/fcsr.12178

SILVA, J. E. DA; GONÇALVES, L. J.; CORNELIUS, R. A. (2017) Gestão feminina x Gestão masculina no mundo empresarial. ANAIS DO 13o ENCITEC - 2017. Anais... In: 13O ENCITEC. Toledo. Recovered from https://www.fag.edu.br/revista/encitec/2017

SIMS, C.; CARTER, A.; MOORE DE PERALTA, A. (2020) Do servant, transformational, transactional, and passive avoidant leadership styles influence mentoring competencies for faculty? A study of a gender equity leadership development program. Human Resource Development Quarterly. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/hrdq.21408

STEVENSON, J. (2021) Identifying ‘the Power of All’. Recovered from https://www.kornferry.com/insights/articles/women-leadership-power-of-all

TRAVISAN, B. C.; AUGUSTO, C. A. (2018) Mulheres E Liderança: Um Estudo Das Barreiras Enfrentadas Em Suas Carreiras Em Hospitais Privados De Maringá, Revista de Empreendedorismo Negócios e Inovação, v. 3, n. 1, p. 4–18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.36942/reni.v3i1.168

TORREÃO, N. (2007) A liderança feminina no desenvolvimento sustentável. Revista Artémis, v. 7, p. 101–121.

UWIZEYIMANA D. E., MATHEVULA N.S. (2014) Promotion of female educators into school management positions: A gendered perspective, Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, v. 5, n. 20, p. 1203-1213. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p1203

VINKENBURG, C. J., VAN ENGEN, M. L.; EAGLY, A. H.; JOHANNESEN-SCHMIDT, M. C. (2011) An exploration of stereotypical beliefs about leadership styles: Is transformational leadership a route to women’s promotion? Leadership Quarterly, v. 22, n. 1, p. 10–21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.12.003

VOKINS, N. (1993) The minerva matrix women entrepreneurs: their perception of their management style. In ALLEN, S.; TRUMAN, C. Women in business. London: Routledge.

WHITTEMORE, R.; KNAFL, K. (2005) The integrative review: updated methodology. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Oxford, v. 52, n. 5, p. 546-553. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03621.x




How to Cite

Amaral, M., Pimenta, I. do A., Willerding, I. A. V., Cunha, C. J. C. de A., & Lapolli, Édis M. (2021). Leadership Traits: A Gender Issue?. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 9(11), 160–172. https://doi.org/10.31686/ijier.vol9.iss11.3482

Most read articles by the same author(s)