, Volume 70, Issue 11-12, pp 522-537
Date: 01 May 2014

Gender and Leadership in Spain: a Systematic Review of Some Key Aspects

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Abstract

As Spain experienced rapid societal and gender equality changes after the end of the dictatorship in 1975, the development of gender equality in Spain has differed from other European countries and the United States. Therefore, the results of Spanish studies conducted on gender and leadership might differ from those conducted in countries with other historical backgrounds such as other European countries or the United States. We systematically reviewed the current theoretical and empirical literature on gender and leadership with a special emphasis on this comparison. Thereby, we focused on four essential aspects: (a) the underlying mechanism of gender inequality (e.g., traditional gender roles), (b) gender and leadership behavior, (c) the relation of female representation in top management and on boards with organizational performance, and d) female representation and non-performance-related organizational outcomes. Further, Spain is currently experiencing a severe economic crisis. On the one hand, such a crisis might provide a chance for gender equality development; on the other hand, it might trigger a regression toward traditional gender roles in society. Thus, in our discussion, we relate the results of our comparison to these two different but possible consequences of the crisis. To conclude, we outline directions for future research that we hope will provide answers to important questions in this area of research.