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A Cultural Feminist Perspective on Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations: A Case of Women Leaders in India

PAQ, Vol. 36 No. 4, (2012)

This research focuses on women leaders of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and proposes a framework to reduce the challenges these women face. Using a cultural feminist perspective, the paper explores nonprofit leadership in India; however, the proposed framework can be implemented in organizations across the globe. Previous research indicates that women have specific attributes, characteristics, and skills that help them employ an androgynous style of leadership that includes a balance of feminine and masculine attributes. In line with this, I argue that the strength of women’s leadership lies not in their ability to conform to prevailing masculine stereotypes of leadership, but in women’s unique abilities. I propose a multidimensional process to increase the acceptance of feminine leadership characteristics in NPOs, which will help eliminate masculine hegemony and therefore weaken the barriers faced by women in leadership positions.

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