Leadership qualities of women in project management in a selected local government department in the Western Cape, South Africa
Much debate has been going on about the ability of women to lead in the large organisations around the country. The call for women to be given senior leadership positions appears to have run global as more and more women seek to get into powerful positions. Whilst the population of women is generally higher than that of men, women still remain in small numbers relative to men getting the positions. Research findings do not seem to have agreed on generalisations as to why women remain in few numbers even where they are in the majority. The hotel industry, the nursing field, etc. even in such establishments the number of women in leadership has remained low. Many theories have been advanced, including the allegation that men prefer male leaders to female leaders, women cannot stand pressure in the boardroom, and men stand on the progress of women in organisations. The researcher decided on getting information from subordinates in the organisation on their perception of good leadership as perceived by them. The questions were derived from existing theory on women leaders’ characteristics and standard behaviour for effective leadership. The respondents measured from the Likert scale their perception about certain characteristics deemed to be the strengths of women. This was done to avoid using gender as this would influence some responses to the questions. The findings indicate that not all ‘feminine’ positive attributes are necessarily accepted as leading competencies with some of the male characteristics considered ‘abhor able.’ Convenience sampling, which is a non-probabilistic sampling method, was used in this research study. The benefits of this method are that the individuals are readily available and are easy to recruit. It was easier to distribute the questionnaires to the sample by means of e-mails and clarify issues as they arose.