Leadership and Gender in Microfinance Institutions: Perspectives from Bangladesh

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, women have taken leadership roles in virtually all sectors of government, business, the not-for-profit community and social movements in many economically developing and developed countries. In spite of this, there is a notable absence of women in top leadership positions because of a hidden bias against women. The paper explores the relationship between gender and leadership and also examines the impact of gender on leadership. Drawing on an empirical case study, this article examines how gender and leadership interact in a leading microfinance institution in Bangladesh. Although there are some concerns regarding women’s ability to lead, based on our research findings the article concludes that women can make meaningful contributions to such organizations as leaders. The paper also suggests that in modern globalised world various opportunities will be increased for those women (and men) who display more of the ‘feminine’ characteristics that the transformational leadership implies.
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