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GENDER DIFFERENCES Today there are more women than ever before who are effective leaders, and it

is expected that the number of women leaders, particularly those from minority groups, will continue to
increase (Bennis, Spreitzer, & Cummings, 2003). There are more women governors, senators, and
representatives. There are more women leaders in sports, science, business, education, and many other
fields than ever before. In nursing, women have always led the profession toward change and
development. It is reported that women have different styles than men in many things, and because of
these differences, it is assumed that women are better at some things (e.g., child-rearing, nursing) and
men are better at others (e.g., sales, construction work). But when it comes to leadership, the styles of
men and women allow both to be successful, particularly if stereotypical maleness is combined with
stereotypical femaleness. A more androgynous perspective on leadership—one that combines the best
of “femaleness” and the best of “maleness” and draws on the strengths of each style—therefore, is
most helpful. The androgynous leader “blends dominance, assertiveness and competitiveness [often
thought to be “male” characteristics] . . . with concern for relationships, cooperativeness, and
humanitarian values [often associated with a “female” style]” (Grossman & Valiga, 2005, p. 112). Such a
combination is critical in a world characterized by declining resources and increasing chaos and