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Servant Leadership And Gender

Alyse Scicluna Lehrke, Kristin Sowden
Published 2017 · Psychology

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Some scholars claim servant leadership is a gender-neutral leadership style that may enhance perceptions of women leaders by de-emphasizing the masculine traits typically expected of leaders. However, others argue servant and leader are gender-laden terms, creating a superior-subordinate paradox that mirrors the female-leader paradox. Despite debate over whether servant leadership minimizes gender biases based in leader stereotypes, multiple case studies illustrate the way some women self-identify as servant leaders, attaining leadership roles through service. Servant leadership may allow women leaders to enact the social roles of gender and leader in authentic ways, leading to enhanced follower perceptions and ethical decision making consistent with a feminine ethic of care. Taken together, these possibilities make the intersections between servant leadership and gender worthy of continued exploration.
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