Gender psychology of leadership as a science began to develop under the influence of the feminist movement since the mid-1970s of the 20th century (Gardiner, Rita A 112). Although women are getting more proactive with every generation, it is still hard to debunk the theory that executive positions can occupy men only. According to statistics, 12% of men and 7% of women are employed in the managerial sector in the United States (Lips, Hilary M 98). It was found that female leaders are perceived less competent.
In addition, most subordinates believe that leadership is a masculine role. Many facts confirm a biased attitude towards the female leaders in the society. For or example, women are generally not entrusted with the tasks that would allow them to gain experience and prove themselves as a contender for the leadership position. In many countries, women receive lower salaries for equal work with men.
The situation that women hold fewer leadership positions can be explained by the fact that more men tend to self-realization in the professional activities than women. Furthermore, women have lower starting opportunities than men. K. Corner described an interesting phenomenon called “fear of success”, which is based on the psychological avoidance of success due to the inner fear that has no rational explanation. Later K. Corner gave an interesting interpretation of this phenomenon.
According to the author’s opinion, a person is not terrified by the “fear of success” itself but by the fear of its external side effects. In the case of women, they are afraid of the loss of femininity, attractiveness to males and social alienation as a possible retribution for success (Gardiner, Rita A 64). Women’s leadership requires much more effort compared to men. Many women usually know this fact and refuse from the leadership roles.