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There has been a public interest in gender bases related to recruitment and promotion for a very long time. This has been mostly because women have generally been few especially in the realms of management and business. Business leadership and management has been primarily a male dominated area and where a woman emerges as a performer in this field, she attracts a lot of interest (Aalberg & Jenssen, 2007). There have been several women in management and politics but not compared to men. As such, that has made women be the subject of interest particularly because of their work and contribution to politics and governance. Examples of these women include Hillary Clinton, Benazir Bhutto, Theresa May, Meg Whitman Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, Marilyn Hewson, Irene Rosenfeld and Angela Merkel among others (Latu et al. 2013).

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There has been an increase of women political leaders and women in management that have been elected or promoted in the current and last decades. Most of the research and scholarly work that has focused on women political leaders and women in management has mostly been autobiographical in nature (Dahlerup, 2005). These works have primarily focused on their profile, the difficulties they encountered in the political arena and the achievements they have made thus far.

It is essential to point out that for any politician be it a man or a woman, they require commitment, consistency and a huge investment of time, money and energy to built a political career where they can directly influence political and policy agenda both in their counties and outside (Tilly & Gurin, 1990). Political and management careers do not depend necessarily on whether one is a man or a woman. It depends on a myriad of issues that from political ideology, the party that one ascribes to, the individual effort and consistency in politics and the ability to pull masses for a common goal.

The aim or main question that this paper explores is the importance of gender biases on recruitment and promotion.

Theoretical Framework

There has been a long-standing belief of strong democracies and the notion that elected representations play an important role as political leaders in adapting nationally defined services to the people. This has also been an aspect in key management positions within organizations (Krook, 2010). Today, there is a strong growing interest on women political leadership and organizational management because they have become part and parcel of the political and organizational leadership that participate in policy formation that helps in service delivery, promoting socioeconomic development and improvement political systems (Brodkin, 2007). Globally, strong women leaders play an essential role in the creation of a proper political and managerial space for female participation and supporting engendered social change. They also play an important role as change agents in advancing women’s rights, social justice and gender equality.

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This paper employs the use of post-behavioralism theory as a framework in understanding the study topic and objectives. The post-behavioral approach observes that substance in politics must overarch technique in such a manner that the most problematic social issues are treated as important subjects of concern than the tools of investigation (Graham & Carey, 1972). The theory also notes that there should be no assumption that there are universal laws that govern human behavior. This is particularly important in the consideration of the space that women politicians and managers occupy in the public sphere. Women are expected to behave in a different way compared to men when it comes to politics and management yet they all occupy the same profession. The theory asserts that there may be universal laws that govern human behavior but should be applied equally to men and women and focus must be on the similarities and differences between political systems. A researcher using the post-behavioral approach makes value judgments as a guide for research and uses scientific or other techniques to gain knowledge and advocate for social change. This is an important theoretical framework in comparative politics. Some of the questions that this research will try to answer based on this theoretical framework include

What is the importance that women leaders bring to public governance?

The paper will also employ the use of Hofstede’s masculinity and femininity cultural dimension. This dimension analyzes the extent to which cultures support the traditional view of masculine or feminine traits. Masculinity entails the trains linked to assertiveness while femininity entails the traits that are linked to nurture. Hostede (2001) states, “In a strict sense, only behaviors directly connected with procreation (childbearing and child begetting) are “feminine” or “masculine.” Yet every society recognizes many other behaviors as more suitable to females or more suitable to males; these represent relatively arbitrary choices, medicated by cultural norms and traditions” (Hofstede, 2001, p.280).

The sub-questions that this research will try to answer based on this theoretical framework include

What is the importance that women leaders and managers bring to public governance?

Do women need to have same characters or behave as men to be political leaders or organizational managers?

Do women have high influence than men in politics and management?


This paper employed a quantitative research methodology. Specifically, it relied on and secondary research to collect data. We relied on information collected by authors and researchers on several political leaders as a basis for this research. We searched different databases for books, articles, political journal sources, periodicals, websites, biographies, and newspaper articles that had information on the two politicians. We then analyzed these databases and information sources for their reliability and validity of information and included reputable sources for this paper. The study is mainly descriptive and indeed the use of secondary data was useful for this research because without them, it would be difficult to find information on the two politicians and provide a result and discussion of merit.

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Analyses and Results

The paper relied on secondary sources to provide data. The main question was whether gender biases have importance on recruitment and promotion. The independent variable was gender discrimination while the dependent variable is hiring and promotion. The independent variable affects the dependent variable either positively or negatively.

The research relied on secondary data that was taken from the United States (US) Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data used for this research is from research on the employment status and the gender disparities that exist among civilian non-institutional populations. The source was used because it presents valid data. The source is a government agency and is responsible for data collection in terms of census. The fact that the study relies on secondary data means that the data should be valid and reliable and the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides validity and reliability.

Employment Status of the civilian non-institutional population

As captured in the table below, the number of men in employment is higher compared to the number of women of 16 years and above in the period from 2005 to 2013. The number of employed reduced for both groups in the years from 2008-2010 but picked up again.

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Table 1. Employment Status of the civilian non-institutional population 16 years and older by gender

Women versus men in the Labor Force

The number of women aged 16 and above in the labor force was nearly half of the total number. The majority of women either was employed or was looked for employment. The number of women participating in the labor force was 56.7 percent compared to 69.1 percent of men as captured in table 2. This shows that the number of women recruited in the labor force is not very low. Pie chart 1 represents the number of men versus women in the labor force

Year Men Women
Total Civilian



122,497 131,040
   Unemployed 37,743 56,608
Employed 80,568 70,868
Percentage 53.2% 46.8%
Number participating in labor force in % 56.7 69.1

Table 2. Employment status of the civilian non-institutional population by age in 2015

The US population as of 2014 was made up of more women than men. Women made up 161,966,955 or the total 318,857,056 total population number. However, chart 2 below shows that men hold more jobs than women showing that their recruitment is still low.

Chart 1. Non-institutional civilian population in employment in terms of gender

Management and leadership by gender

From the study, the number of women has also been increasing in terms of the leadership roles that they undertake. For instance, in 2015 as shown in bar chart below, women made up 39.2 percent of the 17 million people in management occupations. Women scored a higher percentage in the medical and health services management at 73.7 percent. This shows that the promotion of women is still low compared to men.

Table 3. Number of women in corporate boards in percentage (2008-2015)


Gender biases continue to be experienced in various places of work around the world. This is despite the efforts being put and numerous campaigns to ensure equality (Alvesson & Billing, 2009). The gender inequality that exists in many organizations is a phenomenon that is complex. This bad habit continues to be witnessed in the structures of various organizations including their practices and processes. This inequality is brought about by the decisions taken by the human resource officers. Their policies and enactments affect the process of hiring, training, promotion and the salaries of women. The gender discrepancies continue to bring negative effects to the society. Women continue to be sidelined when it comes to hiring and promotion. This paper is going to look in depth at gender biases in workplaces. It will examine on the various ways women are being discriminated and treated unfairly when it comes to job hiring and promotions. We are going to focus on the practice and processes of the human resource officers.

From the study, it is clear that despite the fact that women outnumber men in population in US, they still hold the majority in recruitment and promotion. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, women have been improving in numbers in terms of educational qualifications but this has not affected much their employment and recruitment. The data from National Center for Education Statistics shows that in 2013–2014, women had close to half of all professional degrees representing 49.1 percent, including 47.6% of degrees in medicine, 47.5% of degrees in dentistry, and 46.8% of degrees in law, 61.0% of degrees in pharmacy and 79.0% of degrees in veterinary medicine (National Center for Education Statistics, (2015).

Managing gender diversity in the places of work is a topic that continues to be debated in the legal, economic and social context. It remains important since it advocates for women to be treated fairly when it comes to job recruitments, training and promotions (Booth, 2009). Different perspectives have been examined concerning the notion of the roles of gender in the setting of workplaces. Theories have been developed to explain the various impacts of the theories of gender, concepts and the various approaches to the working environment. The experts have suggested the formulation and adoption of models that can be used to manage gender diversities in organizations. This is to help in the reduction of discrimination of workers because of their sex. In this campaign of championing for treatment of women, organizational structure is important in the promotion of gender diversity.

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Some researchers have identified the evolution of theories of masculine as the main problem that is behind the gender biases. The masculine principles contribute to gender discrimination in many ways (McDonald, Lin & Ao, 2009). This is because these theories consider men to be superior to women regarding educational qualifications, management, leadership, planning, and decision-making and problem-solving skills. This philosophy or male principles keep the men at the job positions that are higher in an organization and give them control on the important issues in an organization.

The aspect of identities of gender is vital in organizations that managements do not regard. Neglecting this social phenomenon leads to the creation of organizations that do not observe gender neutrality where all the roles that are leading in an organization are given to the men (Berry & Franks, 2010). In these organizations, men are given the priority when it comes to recruitment, training and promotions. They are considered as the only people who are productive and who can bring the required success to a firm. In these, situation, the women are assigned to lower job positions to promote their professional careers.

The organizations that are not gender sensitive and which recognize men create dilemmas that promote gender segregation, income and inequality in status. The roots of gender biases come from the traditions concerning the roles of women in the society (Booth, 2009). The society has a perception that women should be given time to perform responsibilities that are connected to their families. However, these roles such as childbirth and their care engage the women and prevent them from developing and advancing their careers. These roles are misunderstood by many who feel that women cannot manage to be available to commit fully to their job responsibilities that are demanding because of the role they play in their families (Ridgeway, 2009). The affiliations of women to their families have been known to be a contributing factor to their discrimination. They are portrayed as employees who are looking towards working conditions that are flexible as they cannot be available and committed fully.

Socially, the interaction of men and women also determine the dominance pattern and submission. This interaction is responsible for the male and female norms that are upheld in an organization (McDonald, Lin & Ao, 2009). The image of leaders of organizations is taken to be a very successful man with excellent management skills. The social conception of business leaders contributes to the gender biases that exist in many organizations through their processes and frameworks of hiring, determining their wages, working hours, training and promotion. In addition, in the process of hiring and promotion, women face sexual harassment, bullying and unfair treatment.

Human resource represents the practice of an organization that concerns the management of their employees and ensuring that they achieve the objectives that have been set. The functions of the systems of HR include recruitment or hiring, evaluation of performance, training, leadership succession and promotion of employees (Berry & Franks, 2010). The systems of HR depend on the size of an organization. They also depend on the history of the particular firm. The systems range from the ones with a suitable structure and those that are supported by the department led by a specialist in HR to sets of policies and procedures that are enacted by managers.

The practices of HR influence the hiring process, treatment and the rewards that employees receive. The practices of HR can be broken into formal policy by the HR, the decisions that are made by the HR and the way the policies and the decisions are enacted (Alvesson & Billing, 2009). The policies of the HR determine the duties of the personnel that are employed, the relations among the employees, the formula for evaluating them and planning of resources. The way the HR perceives these functions determines the sex of the employees that are employed.

The policies of HR influence the hiring and the promotion process. Some organizations give the top positions to men only (Booth, 2009). This is because men are taken to be skilled and knowledgeable more than the women. Men are also taken to be good managers with excellent leadership skills, which are paramount to a company’s success. Some HR policies in some organizations give priority to men when they are recruiting new employees. The HR policies are responsible for the discrimination against women in workplaces. This has resulted in women being sidelined when it comes to hiring or women being given few and lesser positions in a firm. During promotions, men are also considered over women.

Women have performed outstandingly in leadership roles as presidents and prime ministers proving their abilities in leadership. Margaret Thatcher is an autocrat and showed characteristics of an authoritarian. These are leaders who like to be in control (Gardner & Laskin, 2011). When she took over, the unemployment rates increased (Ponton, 2010). This was attributed to the high dependence of people on the union. However, she introduced changes to the economy, which she believed could turn around the situation. Even as the others doubted her move, she went ahead with it. During her rule, she reached out to other political leaders from other countries. She built relationships with other like-minded nations (Gardner & Laskin, 2011). For instance, she built a relationship that was strong with Ronald Reagan who was the president of United States. They collaborated on political, ideological and financial lines.

Theresa May prefers a cabinet to be managed properly with all the ministers taking responsibility for any actions that take place in their respective ministries (Hampshire & Bale, 2015). She wants the ministers to take responsibility for the responsibilities that they take in their ministries. In other words, she is an administrator who likes things to be run and managed the way they are meant to be.

Sonia Gandhi is consulted widely on the leadership of the Congress party, which led to her maintaining the party in unity and harmony. She brought together all the disgruntled senior leaders of the Congress party, which was instrumental in the unity, and strength of the party (Wolpert, 2009). When her husband died, she was chosen to serve as the prime minister. She was not power hungry and therefore refused to take the position (Derichs & Thompson, 2013). In doing this, she brought an end to some monarchial rule allowing people to go to the ballot to choose their leader. After she came back to the party, mobilized and campaigned for it, the party won the majority of the seats. As a result, the party formed a coalition, and she was asked to head the coalition government. She instead declined and appointed another leader in her place.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a collaborative leader who consulted across all leaders in promoting good governance and development. She made informed decisions about the issues facing her country (Scully, 2016). Her government was also inclusive with her appointing ministers from all circles. She also opened ties with the international community. This brought huge success to her country.

When Margaret Thatcher ascended to power, she reduced the role that the government played in the private sector. She aimed to turn around the economy of Britain that was growing at a slow rate (Ponton, 2010). She suppressed the trade unions, and many socialists hated her. She opposed the welfare state idea. Socially, she governed along the lines of parties and complained a lot about the immigrants. She limited the number of refugees that were entering her nation from South East Asia. She opposed the idea of giving the foreigners housing that was funded by the state.

The right to buy schemes was introduced by Thatcher. This right granted the poor and people who were disenfranchised a way of buying houses in the society (Campbell, 2012). Tenants of the council who had no dreams of owning homes finally managed to own them. This made people work hard improving their securities and increasing their wealth. Through this, the economy improved.

When she came to power, the rate of unemployment was high. The tax rates were also high (Ponton, 2010). People used to be taxed a lot making it more difficult for them to sustain themselves and their businesses. When she took office, she reduced the taxes by a great margin and the many regulations for doing business. This enabled the people to save and increase their purchasing power. This created an environment that could sustain business, which helped the economy to grow. She oversaw the establishment of many small businesses that became the backbone of the Britain economy. She brought the culture of respecting that hard work pays.

She recognized that there was the need to be involved with the global market instead of holding it down. She introduced policies that transformed the environment of business making Britain the preferred destination for doing business (Campbell, 2012). Privatization opened up the economy and gave the foreign investors many opportunities. Taxes were cut and incentives provided which resulted in many foreign investors investing in Britain. This helped in reducing the levels of unemployment.

The attraction of the foreign investors led to the investment of the Nissan, a company for manufacturing vehicles. She collaborated with the private sectors that were strong leading to the implementation of infrastructure investments that attracted the foreign investors such as the Canary Wharf zone (Ponton, 2010). This zone was a developed by tax concessions, minimal regulations, and incentives that attracted investment from the private sector. To date, over 100,000 people work in the zone, and the region has many foreign businesses an investment.

When she became the prime minister, there were labor movements that were organized. These unions such as the National Union of Mineworkers had wrecked the government through frequently organized strikes (Campbell, 2012). These strikes affected the business environment and affected the economy negatively. The union was even becoming militant making governance an uphill task. She, therefore, faced them and managed to crack them down leading to the reduction of these strikes, which was good for the economy.

She helped in the promotion of freedom globally. This is through stepping up efforts to defeat the Soviet Union and reviving a tradition of a liberal economy (Campbell, 2012). She clarified her beliefs on the matter of the Soviet Union, which enabled her to gain massive influence. She teamed with Reagan to plan the fall of the Soviet Union and its ideology of communism. She helped Reagan to become the elections. Reagan reached out to her for guidance and leadership over the cold war issue.

During the referendum on the EU, the conservative party was divided. There were those who were supporting the Brexit while there was a section that was opposing it (Cowley & Kavanagh, 2016). After the referendum, the unity of the party was at stake because of the division. Theresa May was opposing the plan to exit the EU. Fractures showed themselves in the party leading to the leader of the party resigning. However, she positioned her candidature in unity. She managed to put the party together and its members and managed to keep all the members of the party together. During her candidacy, she told the people that now that the Brexit had gone through she was going to ensure that she negotiates the best deals for Britain and through time, she has maintained the unity. She is a staunch advocate for the human rights. More especially, she has been involved with championing for the rights of women and fighting for their position in the society (Cowley & Kavanagh, 2016).

Sonia Gandhi managed to bring cohesion and unity to the Congress Party. When she joined the party, the party was in shambles and there was a lot of instability in the party and a lot of division (Derichs & Thompson, 2013). Many thought that the party would not be able to stand on its feet again. During the 1996 elections, the Congress Party lost terribly. There was a faction in the party; the party’s president was facing a revolt from other senior leaders from the party. When she took over the leadership of the party, she revived it and managed to return it once again to the center of rule where she oversaw its rule for two tenures.

Gandhi gave India a government that gave its people stability and development. When she was chosen as the prime minister, she turned down the offer and instead appointed an economist so that development would take the lead in India (Derichs & Thompson, 2013). While serving as the chairperson in the advisory council, she played a key role in enacting important acts such as the Information Act. Her party managed to uplift India to become one of the powerful economies in Asia. The economic power of India is attributed to the leadership of Sonia Gandhi.

She has been an advocate for the human rights. She is on record for the promotion of the rights of women and children (Derichs & Thompson, 2013). She has also led talks with other nations such as China in collaborating for development purposes.

Sirleaf’s years as the president, she managed to unite the people of Liberia bringing the civil war to an end. She headed the peace promotion across Liberia campaigns that were fruitful in the preservation of peace. She has embraced a foreign policy that is aimed at promoting Liberia economically and promoting its international relations with the world. This foreign policy has led to debt wavering, programs of development, public facilities have been built, and there is the presence of diplomatic missions (Scully, 2016). The foreign policy was designed taking into account the interests of the country with main objectives being the preservation of national security and the sovereignty of Liberia. There is also the promotion of peace based on non-interference internally and promotion of unity with the international community.

She has been on the forefront in ensuring fighting for the rights of human rights and the rule of law. She is on record for criticizing other African leaders who do not embrace the rule of law and those who do not respect the rule of law (Adams, 2008). She always spoke of the crimes other African leaders are committing to their people. For instance, she gave a very strong statement to the former president of Zimbabwe against practicing a dictatorial rule.


From the study, it is clear that women have  as much ability and qualifications to be leaders and occupy managerial positions just as men do. Currently,  there exists a gender disparity between men and women in recruitment and promotion. Women are more than men in population and this must be reflected in recruitment and promotions. To ensure that this happens, there are several measures that can be taken.

The policies of human resource must be changed to ensure that they support women in recruitment and promotion. Women have skills and knowledge of the related jobs, skills and have capabilities of performing well (Ridgeway, 2009). The institutional discrimination against women should be removed right from recruitment to promotion. Discrimination occurs when women are under-represented in a particular program of education or a particular type of job. Ensuring that national and organizational policies consider both genders during the recruitment process is key.

When conducting job evaluations, which determine promotions, qualifications as well as affirmative action. Gender bias is evident if the criteria that are used in job evaluation are in favor of men than women (Barreto, Ryan & Schmitt, 2009). Women are also constrained when it comes to formal job ladders because of the job ladders are divided by gender. Past studies have shown that women face discrimination personally during the process of selection. There is also research that shows women being evaluated based on tasks that have been accomplished by men. This is especially in jobs such as engineering, finance, management, leadership and administration jobs. All these should be discouraged not just in policy but also in practice. Women should continue to push for equality and demand fair recruitment and promotion based on qualification rather than gender.

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