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Breaking Through “Bitch” by Annie McKee, Carol Vallone Mitchell

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CHAPTER 3Women’s Road Map for Leadership: A Primer

It’s easy to see why women leaders have to behave differently than their male counterparts in order to be effective. As discussed in the previous chapters, the characteristics of traditional leadership fit male, not female, stereotypes. The stereotyped concepts of “woman” and of “leader” are quite different. Behaviors expected of leaders are viewed as “role-discrepant” when exhibited by women and are perceived more negatively than the same behaviors when exhibited by men.1 In other words, women who demonstrate male-stereotype leadership characteristics hazard being labeled “bitch,” as we saw displayed so blatantly in the case study in the previous chapter.

Women must demonstrate leadership in ...

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