A Few Good Women at the Top: The China Case – Case Study Example

WOMEN LEADERSHIP (The china case) WOMEN LEADERSHIP (The china case) Leadership is defined as the ability to inspire othersto pursue a set vision within set limits and work with them cordially to attain success. Leadership involves inspiring your followers towards the attainment of a certain set goal. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, all over the world, women were mildly involved in leadership. With democracy diffusing worldwide, there has emerged a need to involve women in leadership. In china, 49% of the whole population is made up of women and they form 46 % of the total labor force in the job market. This shows that women involvement in the job market has gradually increased and this has given rise to the need for their involvement in leadership positions. Difficult opposition from the society has faced this process of change. However, those women who take courage and go ahead into it have stood up against people’s expectations and proved better than their male counterparts are.
In china, Mulan who acted in disguise in place of her husband and served in the army for twelve years has motivated women involvement in top positions in leadership. This has been a motivational factor since it shows the potential in women. Ever since this was found out, the china government developed an annual award named after her that is given to the best woman in business both private and government sector. Women should be motivated constantly to continually involve them in leadership (Ely, 2010, pg 377). In this journal, Ely and Rhode describe women leadership as a young-one who needs to be taken care for them to grow.
Despite having this motivation, women have had set backs in their desire to be in leadership. This setbacks range from social, organizational and individual. Socially, women were viewed as caretakers of homes and children in china. However, since 2009 china has recognized women entrepreneurs and promoted them by giving them an upper hand in opportunities. The culture of the china people is against this and has caused a lot of resistance in a bid not to allow women leadership. Gender role stereotypes have undermined willing women by putting them at a disadvantage in the job market and promotion opportunities. Aspects such as the believe that men are the ones in charge have hit back the attempts to nurture women leadership. In his book, women and leadership, klenke states that the most successful people are those that fight against opposition and so is the state of women leadership (klenke, 1996, pg 27). The few women who have thrived in leadership e.g. Virginia Rometty, the first woman in the USA to be a CEO, have set a goal for all other aspiring women. Such women have acted as an inspiration to other women and have given rise to more women in the industry. In china alone, a research in 2012 showed that in the job market 19% of CEO, s and 9% of managers were women. Women have twice the ability in men at the same educational level (klenke, 1996, pg 13)
Organizational problems have also limited women from thriving into top leadership positions and thus limiting them from exercising their full potential. Most organizations have had a male dominated culture that blocks upward mobility of women in such organization. Various human resource managers have been reported to have poor selection criteria and performance appraisals that favor men more than women. Noble and Moore, great scholars in women leadership books and journal, have played a great role in emphasize on the need for proper systems in organization that ensure all women are given a fair chance in organization. Gender is about the sexuality and not about the capabilities and potential (Nobre, 1996, pg 597). Organization systems that discourage women leadership have been addressed in the china case. There have been developments of trade rules that ensure in every management, at least 20 % must be women. This has played a big role in uplifting women. The stories of women who have already made it to the top have also become a source of encouragement to those aspiring to get there.
Despite there being a lot support on women from many sources, some people still believe that women can never outdo the potential of men. People have argued that women are only being involved in an already brought up business environment that was brought from the scratch by men. Women are a weaker gender right from creation. (Eagly, 2007, pg 11). Eagly argues that women generally have the fear to be involved in risk taking and that they lack the capability of command that should be in a leader. In china, women have been referred to as ‘half the sky’ and idiom used over the last 60 years and is meant to mean that women have half way the potential men got. An interview on some in the china case showed that some women believed in this idiom and to them they lived by culture and only involved themselves with family issues.
Eagly, A. H. (2007). Female leadership advantage and disadvantage: resolving the contradictions. Psychology of women quarterly, 31(1), 1-12.
Ely, R. J., & Rhode, D. L. (2010, January). Women and Leadership. InHandbook of Leadership Theory and Practice: An HBS Centennial Colloquium on Advancing Leadership (p. 377). Harvard Business Review Press.
Klenke, K. (1996). Women and leadership: A contextual perspective. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
Noble, C., & Moore, S. (2006). Advancing women and leadership in this post feminist, post EEO era: A discussion of the issues. Women in Management Review, 21(7), 598-603.