Women have a different, and less authoritarian, view of leadership than men, says Carole Leland, senior program associate for the Center for Creative Leadership's La Jolla, Calif., branch.
"Women should be valued and respected for what they bring to the workplace rather than constantly being criticized for what they do not," said Ms. Leland, who runs workshops for executive women at the center, a Greensboro, N.C., non-profit specializing in research and training.
She doesn't believe all women are perfect leaders, however. "Many women, in the face of discrimination, have learned to do the things men have learned to do -- and they've survived by exercising control," Ms. Leland said. "Authoritarian leadership, in the long term, is less effective and tends to demoralize others."
Leadership traits such as being "inclusive and non-hierarchical" are more likely to be found among women, says Ms. Leland.
Ms. Leland is co-author with Helen S. Astin, psychologist and professor of higher education at the University of California at Los Angeles, of the new book "Women of Influence, Women of Vision: A Cross-Generational Study of Leaders and Social Change" (Jossey-Bass, $25.95).
The authors interviewed 77 high-ranking women in academia. They chose educators "because historically, that's where the opportunities for leaderships have been."
Civil rights law
American business is bracing for a wave of new lawsuits under the new federal civil rights law.
The law does far more than restore to minorities the rights they had lost in recent years to seek redress for job discrimination. It dramatically broadens those rights to millions of working women and handicapped Americans.
Some likely results: soaring numbers of discrimination lawsuits filed by women and handicapped workers, increases in settlements and a booming business for labor lawyers.
"There's going to be a tremendous amount of employment litigation," said Thomas Royall Smith, a Boston partner of Jackson Lewis Schnitzler & Krutman, one of the nation's leading corporate labor law firms.
Women and handicapped workers have had the right to sue employers for discrimination. But for the first time under the new bill, women -- 46 percent of all workers -- now can sue for punitive damages for sexual harassment and discrimination as well as pay and other losses known as compensatory damages.