Executive Leadership for Women: Examining the Rhetoric and the Reality

Table of Contents


The focal point of this paper is to present an article critic on the literature review by Kathy L. Cocchio published in March 11, 2009. The title of the text is Executive leadership for women: Examining the rhetoric and the reality. The fundamental thesis of the study is clearly stated by the author.

She indicates that “This review focused on investigating the theoretical assumptions that sustain limited access to leadership opportunities for females. Additionally, the review explored the traits that are commonly attributed to a feminine style of leadership and the barriers that challenge, if not impede, female executives.” (Cocchio, 2009, 16)


It is true that Men and women are not randomly distributed through out organizations but there are evidences of discrimination on the ground of gender are evident. Even though, law protects employee from discrimination but discrimination in restaurant still happen to each individual especially to women.

Discrimination faced by woman nowadays not looking at gender perspective but more likely to pay structures, payment and working benefit that more too male employee job. Many employers have used the perception that women prefer working with women and men with men.

This is termed as ‘glass ceiling’ that the author mentions in the literature review. The term ‘glass ceiling’ indicates the practice of excluding women from the upper managerial or authoritative levels where the fundamental decision making is operational. This study presents well researched arguments that prove the practice wrong and financially ramifying for the company.

The entire study is conducted keeping the University of Alberta, Canada criteria as a fundamental benchmark. By doing so, the research manifested the discrimination and practice against women that bar them any access into the upper managerial sections of the company.

The author thus clarifies the reason behind the study. She indicates, “This review was prompted by the significant under-representation of women in Canadian corporate executive positions and the University of Alberta’s Executive Education and Lifelong Learning department’s interest in determining whether a market exists for an executive education program designed specifically for women.” (Cocchio, 2009, 2)

Thus, the study revolves around the fundamental concept of construction of a benchmark or model of female leadership or leadership with feminine essence.


To achieve this goal the author conducts a thorough literature review of 23 texts, mostly comprised of journal articles with very recent publication dates. The earliest is 2000 and the latest is 2008.Various researches and studies that have been carried out on the issue and its various uses are almost infinite and also distinct in their methodology and subject.

Some are purely quantitative (Jacobs, 2007) while others are quantitative (Oakley, 2000). There are also studies that followed a mixed method (Weyer, 2007). Among the various individual studies that have been found, none cover a span of more than a decade.

The majority of the studies which stresses on the addition of social and theoretical developments of leadership model of women actually concentrate on the entire sections through social levels. The following mainly focuses on the fact that there are not many papers which discusses the specific issue of female leadership and construction of female leadership model under the parameters of organizational culture.

Also among the missions is to be completely responsible for utilizing best possible events in order to satisfy the most demanding area. Analysis of the success or failure of leadership culture and organizational culture results in the fact that these strategies make it the most evolved sector in all developed and social parameters.

Also it has been seen that the organizers want to assume leadership in the realms of support and installation of various unified events by offering complete production satisfaction. These firm principles provide the base for the notion of business followed by these organizers.


This study clearly stated that there was a clear gender-related attitude and it affected the fundamental reactions that required for the prompt action on behalf of the organization. There were also differences on the basis of organizational attractiveness based on gender differences.

Thus, it was established that women face a gendered related difference that is constructed on social and cultural basis. In accordance to the findings and recommendation of this study it is suggested that gender bias should be handled with care and it should be noted that there should be complete and specified benchmarks for promotions.

The study also looks into the parameter of performance and subsequent promotion of the subjects. This study clearly indicated that there was a substantial amount of discrimination in the context of ‘glass ceiling’ against female managers.

It was seen that men were able to get quicker promotions then their female counterparts even if their performances were not extremely distinguishable then the female managers. Incidentally, it was found in this study that promoted women needed to score more on performance rating than their male counterparts for promotions.


The most efficient manner for understanding and discussing the researchers that have been conducted on the social environment by including the social environment and theories would be by considering the fact that we need to first break down the entire process into controllable sections, and then further sub-divide them inside the related research.

These sections contain individual divisions among the manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers by the means of organizational operations. The time period of most of the researches is mainly focused between the years 2000 and the present time since it is more than probable that the various developments in our society and theories of leadership has been such that it has broken all the limits by being both available and affordable.

This is the norm with almost all of the industries in the country and thus, it is quite evident that this will also be relevant for the whole educational or other organizational section, thus, directly linking the specified administrative segment.

The study also further focuses on the capability of developing a better analysis of corporate culture and leadership framework, concentrating on their strategies leading to their success and failure and for raising their leadership and gender strategies through various settings that are both general and sometimes specific to the institutions which falls under management administration.

Among the most identifiable differences in these research papers which refer to the time period near the beginning of this century would be the inclusion of the accessibility and speed of the entire evolution of system, including the characteristics of management itself.

Management needs to understand these different elements since they are to a greater extent being increasing integrated with the everyday life of the employees and thus, should also be incorporated with the marking and administrative events and processes in order to maintain an up-to-date knowledge regarding related information of not only the employees but also the administration.


During the last century the extent of gender discrimination has decreased significantly, most of this reduction can be attributed to the fact that a greater number of occupations have opened up for women and that labor market competition has become more meritocratic.

Occupational segregation by sex is one of the most marked and persistent of the patterns that characterize our world. Women and men tend to cluster in separate industries, separate occupations, and different departments. Nowadays, sex differences focus attention in individual characteristic as the primary explanation for the earning gap, and reductions in these sex differences as the major explanation for the narrowing gap.

However, in conclusion and in the context of the study in focus, it should be stated that the literature by Cocchio (Executive leadership for women: Examining the rhetoric and the reality) is an intriguing text backed by evidences and data with enough visual representations that make this reading much more informative.

However, it should be noted that in spite of presentation of good amount of data and details, it should be noted that the study fails to reach any specific conclusion regarding the fundamental aim and objective of the essay and thus there is no significant result of construction of feminine leadership structure.

However, it is obvious that such measures of contraction are subjects of future and more intricate studies and as for this work, it would be safe to mention that it holds its importance in the stepping stone of truly developing a benchmark or construction of leadership framework among women.


Cocchio, K.L. (March 11, 2009). Executive leadership for women: Examining the rhetoric and the reality. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: University of Alberta.

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