Globally, more women are entering the workforce. It’s estimated by 2030 women will outnumber men in management roles. This forecast contrasts with the continuing scarcity of women in top leadership positions, although Australia rates well in the league table. The percentage of women in managerial roles ranges from 25% (Germany) to 43% (Australia) while the percentage of women in senior level positions is between 0.3% (Japan) and 15% (Australia).
A study comparing Norway and Sweden as a pair to the United States and Australia characterised the Scandinavian countries as having organisations with more female-friendly values.
The results showed that US and Australian organisations displayed increased individualism, clearly defined and separate sex roles, high initiative, decreased group interdependence, increased focus on individual achievement and self-interests, and increased valuing of planning and prediction.
How do gender differences in leadership behaviour relate to organisational performance? Well, the jury is still out. But it’s interesting to note the higher incidence of female managers in Australia hasn’t, as yet, seemed to changed organisational cultures.
Perhaps this is because female leaders are less likely to be interpersonally oriented or use participative leadership styles when they work within a strongly masculine culture.