Katherine Hepburn once said, "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." This quote can be directly applied to the role of women in the corporate world. The concept of feminine leadership has begun to take shape slowly over the past few years. It began from the ideas and experiences of thousands of women, based on success and failures. In order to discuss the role of women in corporate America, it is important to review the roots of feminine leadership. Biology and upbringing have a lot to do with this.
Gender differences come from nature and nurture. Socialization and biology shape men and women. Researchers have discovered physiological variations in the brains of men and women. For example, male brains are approximately ten percent larger than female brains. However, women have more nerve cells in certain areas. Women also tend to be faster at transferring data between the computational, verbal left half and the intuitive, visual right half. Men tend to be left brain orientated. These differences in the cultural roots of men and women also are the roots of a gentler style of leadership skills. Women have invaded an alien culture when they entered the management ranks. The corporate culture has been shaped entirely by men who are not used to dealing with the female characteristics. Smiling and other non verbal behaviors are interpreted as signs of submissiveness. Women tend to smile more often than men; however it is not always to their benefit. Women must also fight the "old boy" network. They are not accustomed to being risk takers in the work place, and sometimes don't know how to carry authority comfortably. .
There are still many women who believe that men should hold the aggressive position, while women maintain the traditional female held positions. However, for every one woman who believes that, there is another who can't wait to break all the rules and smash through the "glass ceiling.