Based on my experience in the workforce, I don’t think that leading and how one leads should be correlated with gender in the least. To me, a strong leader has a strong leadership philosophy and practice that far transcends gender and all of the hundreds of other things that make us unique. To divide it up by gender, in my opinion, is to highlight and distract attention from one’s own leadership philosophy to the unrelated matter of gender. The very act of approaching leadership based on gender is probably erroneous in that it highlights gender, an unimportant factor in one’s professional performance, as an important factor. It isn’t.

Do I believe women have a ways to go to achieve equality in the workplace? Yes. How can we help with that? Examine our basic expectations of those who report to us. Do we make exceptions for some that we don’t make for others? Do we hold our direct reports to the same overall standards? By asking “now, would I ask so-and-so that same question, or so-and-so’s peer to meet that standard?” we achieve equality in our leadership.

The one area I do see a difference in is when offering positions to female applicants, in my experience, they have not been as strong in their negotiation skills as men. So whose responsibility is it to fix that? It is an effect of social conditioning that can best be remedied by a professional mentor and caring family members who are able to provide professional coaching, if the person is lucky enough to have guidance like that in their network.