The female leadership advantage: An evaluation of the evidence

Alice H. Eagly*, Linda L. Carli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

844 Scopus citations


Journalists and authors of trade books increasingly assert a female advantage in leadership, whereby women are more likely than men to lead in a style that is effective under contemporary conditions. Contrasting our analysis of these claims with Vecchio's [Leadersh. Q. 13 (2002) 643] analysis, we show that women have some advantages in typical leadership style but suffer some disadvantages from prejudicial evaluations of their competence as leaders, especially in masculine organizational contexts. Nonetheless, more women are rising into leadership roles at all levels, including elite executive roles. We suggest reasons for this rise and argue that organizations can capture the symbols of progressive social change and modernity by appointments of women in key positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-834
Number of pages28
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Gender
  • Leadership style
  • Meta-analysis
  • Prejudice
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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