Diversity of Thought Blog

Leadership Styles and Gender Imbalance: Research Launch

Thank you to all who attended the research launch last week in Melbourne. The research is now available in full by request, or you can read the white paper here. An extract is provided below.

Background to this research

In 2015 The 100% Project launched a research paper entitled ‘Adaptive Leadership. An answer to gender imbalance in the workplace?’. This study found a significant link between an organisation’s adaptive capacity and its record on gender equality in senior leadership. In the current research, The 100% Project delves further into the findings by examining how adaptive leadership compares with other leadership styles. We want to know if the link between adaptive leadership and gender equality found in the previous research can be generalised to other forms of leadership or whether adaptive leadership offers a unique opportunity for creating an organisational culture that is supportive of women in senior leadership.

Transactional and transformational leadership styles are well researched, and we know these styles can represent a spectrum of leadership behaviours. While transformational leadership has been argued to be more effective in bringing change to organisational culture, it is also generally understood that both are required to provide effective leadership to organisations. This study compares transactional, transformational and adaptive leadership, and found adaptive leadership is more effective in creating an organisational culture that encourages women into leadership positions in Australian workplaces…