Are Women Better Change Agents Than Men?

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Women as Change Agents in the Workplace

Women are better change-agents when compared to men. Companies that are undergoing accelerated change can benefit tremendously from hiring women leaders. The reason behind this is the fact that women leaders desire to change and development. Their leadership strategies are different from those used by men. For instance, women leaders prefer working as a group while male leaders prefer when employees work individually. Working as a group enables the female leaders to identify positive deviants easily. Additionally, teamwork encourages sharing of ideas. Women leaders can make employees feel comfortable in the organization thus allowing them to share thoughts more freely. Team members also feel encouraged to discuss their problems. As a result, the companies can solve the issues that hinder high productivity.

Therefore, companies need to create more leadership positions that should be filled by female leaders.

Also, the management should give female leaders a chance to exercise their leadership strategies. By doing so, companies will have given chances to effective change-agents who are going to lead the employees towards the achievement of the companies' objectives. Additionally, women leaders encourage idea sharing which results in innovation and success in business operations.

Are Women Truly Better Change Agents?

In today's world, women hold various positions in the economy (Dunn, Hyle, & Gerlach, 2014). They are known to create lasting changes in the organizations and communities where they work. Over the years, women have been actively involved in conflict resolution and making decisions that promote the welfare of the society (Dunn, Hyle, & Gerlach, 2014). In addition to that, women have been actively engaged in revolutions with the aim of making the society a better place (Jenkins, 2015). However, women could do more as change agents if they were allowed to access more influential positions in the society. Women are more committed to development when compared to men (Jenkins, 2015). Therefore, companies that hire female leaders would benefit more during the times of accelerated change. This is because women desire changes more than men do. The fact is, women efficiently utilize the six steps used by successful change-agents to make lasting changes.

Analysis and Evaluation

Making the Group the Guru

Women prefer working as a group to accomplish a specific goal while men prefer working alone (Jenkins, 2015). They care about helping their colleagues become better performers compared to their male counterparts. Therefore, women are more likely to encourage teamwork in an organization than men. Working as a team creates an environment where employees can support each other and thus enhancing their productivity (Markham, 2013). Similarly, teams can work more efficiently on projects and tasks. Team members work better because they understand the capabilities of their members and can assign responsibilities in an efficient manner (Markham, 2013).

Additionally, employees working as a team have a better chance of identifying, owning, and solving the problem (Finlayson, 2013). During times of accelerated change, challenges can be easily solved by influencing the decisions of a team. In other words, women leaders identify people who have been able to overcome the problems and encourage the rest of the team members to emulate the methods used by the positive deviants (Barragan, Paludi, & Mills, 2017). Working as a team creates an environment where employees can share their ideas. Therefore, the positive deviants are more comfortable sharing their success methods with the other employees. Such employees will change the perception of the other teams that believe that it is not possible to succeed in a particular project or field. Learning from their equals makes it easier for the other team members to accept the change suggestions (Finlayson, 2013). The employees will realize it is possible to achieve particular goals when their colleagues have been able to accomplish the same. Therefore, teamwork is an essential aspect of the organization's success. Women encourage cooperation in organizations and are, therefore, better change agents compared to their male counterparts.

Reframing the Problem

The process of reframing the problem means looking at things from a different angle and coming up with new solutions (Pascale & Sternin, 2005). Reframing the problem means that communities and organizations can challenge the existing status quo and find ways of creating new solutions. After identifying the current orthodoxies, communities and organizations find out whether there are people who have been able to overcome the said problems (Pascale & Sternin, 2005). These are the positive deviants in the society that have been able to think outside the box. Lastly, communities and groups need to incorporate the methods used by the positive deviants to solve the problems (Pascale & Sternin, 2005).

Furthermore, organizations benefit from hiring women in leadership because women are known to desire change (Parmely, 2016). Most of the women in leadership positions are always looking for new ways to develop the organizations. Additionally, women can influence teams in the organizations (Parmely, 2016). Through the female leadership, team members can reframe the challenges experienced in organizations. They find new facts regarding the problems at hand and consider their colleagues who have been able to overcome those challenges (Parmely, 2016). Team members consider the methods used by the others that seem to have overcome the challenges. Women leaders encourage the team members to incorporate the methods used by the positive deviants to solve a problem that would not have been achieved without reframing it. Therefore, companies that have hired female leaders during their time of accelerated change stand to benefit. This is mainly because female leaders can reframe the challenges experienced in the change process and come up with efficient solutions (Markham, 2013).

Make it Easy to Learn

Throughout history, female leaders have been involved in problem-solving scenarios like peace promoting programs. Women have been known to create a welcoming environment in communities and also in organizations. Additionally, women encourage teamwork and teambuilding activities, which strengthen the relationship between the team members (Jenkins, 2015). Team building fosters collaboration within the organizations and people can share their ideas and discuss the challenges they face in the organization more comfortably. As a result, the employees can work together to come up with solutions to problems that affect their productivity.

Additionally, female leaders can use a different approach to solve the issues affecting the company. They can engage the employees in discussing other minor challenges that affect their productivity. This exercise gives the employees an opportunity to share all the issues that affect them in the organization (Dunn, Hyle, & Gerlach, 2014). Employees can also be allocated groups where they can comfortably discuss the problems affecting the companies. Therefore, creating a friendly environment in an organization enables employees to discuss matters concerning the company freely. The employees can share ideas and motivate each other. Thus, females promote change more efficiently compared to men.

Make the Problem Concrete

Naturally, women prefer discussing their problems with others to find solutions (Finlayson, 2013). The process of reviewing the issues is as important as the solutions they arrive at. On the other hand, men prefer solving their problems with less or without any consultation. Therefore, women leaders are more likely to engage their subordinates in finding solutions than their male counterparts (Finlayson, 2013). Their ability to open up about some issues affecting the organization will encourage their subordinates to express the problems they experience.

Also, after identifying problems that affect the organization, the female leaders test whether all the employees know how to deal with them (Finlayson, 2013). For instance, employees can be put to the test to determine whether they can solve a particular problem. The method helps identify the employees that are afraid to admit to not knowing something. Similarly, the test will aid in the identification of the positive deviants in the society that can train the others on how to handle challenges differently. Therefore, unlike men who prefer handling challenges alone, women are better agents of change because they prefer discussing challenges with their colleagues and subordinates (Finlayson, 2013). Treating the problems affecting a company as a group encourages innovation and creativity, which in turn stimulates growth and development.

Leverage Social Proof

Women are blessed with the ability to hold discussions about problems affecting them or the communities. This allows them to be able to bring change in an organization by reaching out to employees and encouraging them to talk about their problem-solving techniques (Dunn, Hyle, & Gerlach, 2014). Female leaders identify a problem in the method and start devising ways of solving it. One of the methods used is by evaluating the performance of the employees and how the issue has affected them Social Proof. By doing so, female leaders can identify the employees who have been able to overcome the challenges perceived by others to be impossible to overcome.

In many organizations, there are particular problems that the employees prefer not to talk about or even find solutions. The employees feel that talking about the problems would be embarrassing or even worse they could get fired (Dunn, Hyle, & Gerlach, 2014). Therefore, female leaders encourage employees who have been able to overcome such problems to discuss their solutions with the rest of the employees. In the beginning, the employees might not be willing to talk about their work, but with time and proper motivation, they get to it. Talking about their problem-solving techniques encourages other employees that desire change to join in the discussion. Eventually, all the employees participate in the discussions and can share ideas. Sharing problem-solving ideas is beneficial to the organizations they work for (Dunn, Hyle, & Gerlach, 2014). Therefore, female leaders are better agents of change compared to men in this respect.

Confound the Immune Defense Response

Changes in companies might be met with avoidance and resistance. The reaction might be caused by a weak communication strategy (Coppock, Fernandez-Gimenez, & Harvey, 2013). Not communicating the reasons and the effects of the change on the employees and the organization leads to misunderstandings. The misunderstandings result in resistance, as the employees feel as if they are forced to adopt the changes. Similarly, the employees resist the changes in fear of the unknown. They might think that the changes will eventually cost them their jobs (Coppock, Fernandez-Gimenez, & Harvey, 2013). Also, employees fear losing control over their jobs. Organizations that need to succeed must discover ways of dealing with the resistance.

Over the years, women leaders have been able to change the perceptions of their colleagues and community members (Barragan, Paludi, & Mills, 2017). Female leaders start by influencing a small group of people in their organizations. They motivate their subordinates and ensure that they are working towards the company's goals. The change in attitude in the small team in the organization eventually spreads to the whole entity (Barragan, Paludi, & Mills, 2017). The other groups in the organization will look at the performing team and realize that resisting change is holding them from success. Such groups will recognize that the problem they are experiencing can be solved as the motivated team has already done it. Female leaders find it easier to motivate their team members because they prefer working in groups. Therefore, companies benefit from hiring female team leaders as they can influence the whole organization.


Companies undergoing an accelerated change process should make the strategic choice of hiring more female leaders. Hiring female leaders has various advantages. Firstly, they can mobilize employees into teams and thus enable them to solve problems efficiently (Markham, 2013). Secondly, women create a comfortable environment in the organizations where employees can share ideas (Dunn, Hyle, & Gerlach, 2014). Idea sharing increases innovation in organizations. Lastly, female leaders have a higher desire for change and development compared to their male counterparts (Markham, 2013). They promote a company's growth and development rate by encouraging change in the organization.

Although the strengths associated with hiring women leaders are numerous, there are weaknesses associated with the strategic choice. One of the weakness is that most organizations do not give women the opportunity to lead even when their leadership qualities are evident (Markham, 2013). Similarly, some of the companies dominated by male leaders do not approve the leadership strategies used by female leaders (Markham, 2013). Female leaders use different strategies than those used by male leaders. However, hiring female leaders is advantageous to companies because they are better change-agents compared to men. They lead their subordinates differently thus making it easier to solve arising problems. Therefore, companies should consider hiring more female leaders.


More women leadership positions should be created in organizations that intend to grow and develop. Women leaders are very resourceful in handling change and problems associated to change. Additionally, the management should allow female leaders to use their leadership strategies.

The leadership positions should be created by the management of the companies undergoing strategic change. The executive management also needs to give female leaders the space to implement their leadership ideas. The decisions to hire more female leaders and give the existing ones a chance to lead in their style would be beneficial to the company if it were made immediately. However, there are various challenges such as inequality that need to be addressed. Companies need to ensure that there is fairness in the organizations.


Companies undergoing an accelerated change process benefit from hiring female leaders because women are better change-agents compared to men. Women are better change-agents because they can work as a group and influence their team members to share problem-solving ideas. They identify the positive deviants in their teams and encourage them to share their exceptional problem-solving methods with other members. On the other hand, employees will be more willing to try new approaches when they see their colleagues have used them to succeed.


Barragan, S., Paludi, M., & Mills, A. (2017). “Top women managers as change agents in Machista context of Mexico.” Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: An International Journal, Vol. 36 (4). Pp. 321-339

Coppock, L., Fernandez-Gimenez, M., & Harvey, J. (2013). Women as change agents in the world’s rangelands: Synthesis and Way Forward. Rangelands, Vol. 35, issue 6. Pp. 82-90

Dunn, D., Hyle, A., & Gerlach, J.  (2014). Gender and leadership: Reflections of women in higher education administration.

International Journal of Leadership and Change, Vol.2, issue 1, Article 2.

Finlayson, M. (2013). Embracing our role as change agents. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 80 (4).

Pp. 205-214

Jenkins, J. (2015). Women as change agents. Retrieved on 10th March 2018 from

Markham, S.  (2013). Women as agents of change: Having a voice in society and influencing policy. Women’s Voice, Agency, & Participation Research Series 2013 No.5, World Bank.

Pascale, R. T., & Sternin, J. (2005). Your company’s secret change agents. Harvard Business Review

Parmely, R. (2016). Women leaders as change agents: Mary Campbell's story of academic and

community leadership. Outstanding Ethnographic Research Projects, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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January 19, 2024

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