De la Rey, C., University of Cape Town, South Africa
There exists an ongoing debate, which focuses on the question of whether women have different leadership styles to men. This paper offers a critical review of current theoretical perspectives on gender and leadership. It particularly examines the impact of various feminist perspectives on our understanding of women and leadership. Two opposing views of women and leadership are critiqued on the basis of how each understands gender and difference. These are firstly, the argument that women have different leadership styles to men and, secondly, the opposing view that there is little difference between women and men in leadership. The analysis of these theoretical perspectives then informs the final section of the paper which explores the significance of new forms of theorising that attempt to move beyond a one-dimensional, universalist focus on gender.