n Gender and Behaviour - Leadership styles deployed by women project managers

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



The aim of this study was to investigate the leadership styles utilized by women project managers in a national electricity provider in South Africa. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 female project managers, and thematic analysis was then used. Certain leadership styles and characteristics were identified as being critical for successful project management. The women project managers were found to exhibit qualities of transformational, democratic and people-oriented leadership styles. They did not believe that gender should be a determinant of their leadership style, but that working as a project manager required certain leadership skills and competencies to meet the project's objectives irrespective of gender. Some of the barriers identified were: gender stereotyping, lack of qualifications, fear of not succeeding, family responsibilities and lack of networking skills and time.

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