The Gender of Power: The Female Style in Labour Organizations

  • Luisa Martin Rojo
  • Concepción Gómez Esteban


This chapter explores how the way women exercise authority and communicate in labour organizations in Spain is seen and evaluated. Our main objectives are the following. First of all, we wish to show the influence of the work context (organizational culture and structure) on the way women manage and communicate, and on how these capacities are perceived. To this end, we shall try to identify the present model of management in Spanish companies and to examine its relationship with communication style, in particular that of women. Likewise, we shall consider the connections between the gender system and labour-related power, and in doing so examine the importance of social networks for the development of women’s professional careers and for the integration of women in labour organizations. Our second objective is to suggest good practices in work organizations. In these sections we shall encourage, by means of examples, reflection on women’s style of leadership and communication, with the aim of considering new ways of developing our professional careers.


Leadership Style Discussion Group Work Organization Labour Organization Communication Style 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barberá, E. (2001) ‘Visibilidad de las mujeres y representaciones del poder’ (‘The visibility of women and the representation of power’), en VV.AA: Las mujeres en el ano 2000: hechos y aspiraciones. Madrid: Instituto de Ia Mujer/Ministerio de Asuntos Sociales, pp. 97–112.Google Scholar
  2. Bhatnagar, D. (1988) ‘Professional women in organizations: new paradigms for research and action’, Sex Roles: 18 (5–6): 343–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baster, S. and Lansing, M. (1983) Queen Bee Syndrome, Women and Politics. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bernstein, B. (1975) Class, Codes and Control: Towards a Theory of Educational Transmission London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1990) ‘La domination masculine’, Actes de la recherche en sciences socials, 84: 231.Google Scholar
  6. Caldas-Coulthard, C. and Martin Rojo, L. (1999) ‘Entre nosotras. Las revistas femeninas y la construcción de la femineidad’ (‘Between women. Women’s magazines and the construction of feminity’), Discurso y Sociedad: 1 (3): special issue.Google Scholar
  7. Cameron, D. (1995) Verbal Hygiene. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Carrero Planes, V. (1991) Aportaciones de un modelo de gestion femenina en el ambito laboral. (The Contribution of a Female Management Style in the Labour World.) Valencia: Institut Valencia de Serveis Socials.Google Scholar
  9. Chouliaraki, L. and Fairclough, N. (1999) Discourse in Late Modernity: Rethinking Critical Discourse Analysis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  10. De Luis Camicer, P. (1992) Estilos de liderazgo femenino. (Female Styles of Leadership.) Report funded by Instituto de la Mujer, Madrid.Google Scholar
  11. Gómez Esteban, C. (2001) ‘El poder y la toma de decisiones’, en VV.AA: Las mujeres en el ano 2000: hechos y aspiraciones. (‘Power and decision making’, in VVAA: Women in 2001: Present Situation and Future Aims.) Madrid: Instituto de la Mujer/Ministerio de Asuntos Sociales, pp. 123–32.Google Scholar
  12. Gómez, C., Martin, L. and Callejo, J. (2000) Mujeres en puestos de decision: modelos y prácticas de mando. (Women as Managers and their Management Practices.) Research funded by CICYT/Instituto de la Mujer.Google Scholar
  13. Gómez, C., Martin, L., Callejo, J. and Delgado, J.M. (1994) La imagen de la mujer en situaciones de competitividad laboral. (The Image of Women in Competitive Situations.) Research funded by Instituto de la Mujer, Madrid.Google Scholar
  14. Helgesen, S. (1993) La ventaja de ser mujer. Formas femeninas de liderazgo. (The Advantages of Women. Female Styles of Leadership.) Barcelona: Granica.Google Scholar
  15. Henley, N. and Thorne, B. (1977) ‘Woman speak and man speak: sex differences and sexism in communication, verbal and nonverbal’, in A. G. Sargent, Beyond Sex Roles. St. Paul, Minnesota: West Pub. Co. pp. 201–18.Google Scholar
  16. Kanter, R. M. (1977) Men and Women of the Corporation. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  17. Kendall, S. and Tannen, D. (1997) ‘Gender and language in the workplace’, in R. Wodak (ed.), Gender and Discourse. London: Sage, pp. 81–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kramarae, C. (1981) Women and Men Speaking: Frameworks for Analysis. Rowley, MA: Newbury House, Publishers.Google Scholar
  19. Loden, M. (1987) Dirección femenina. Como triunfar en los negocios sin actuar como un hombre. (Women as Managers. How to be Successful in Business without Behaving like a Man.) Barcelona: Hispano Europa.Google Scholar
  20. Martin Rojo, L. (1997) ‘The politics of gender: agency and self-reference in women’s discourse’, in J. Blommaert and C. H. Bulcaen (eds), Political Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 231–54.Google Scholar
  21. Martin Rojo, L. (2001) ‘New developments in discourse analysis: discourse as social practice’, Folia Lingufstica, XXXV (1–2): 41–78.Google Scholar
  22. Martin Rojo, L. and Gabilondo Pujol, A. (2002) ‘Foucault’, in J. Verschueren and J. O. Ostman, Handbook of Pragmatics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 1–21.Google Scholar
  23. Martin Rojo, L. and Gari Perez, A. (2002) ‘El obstaculo de ser mujer. Practicas comunicativas en el trabajo’ (‘Barriers for Women as Managers. Communicative practices at work’), in J. Sanatemilia, B. Gallardo and J. Sanmartin (eds), Sexe i llenguatge. La construcció linguistica de les identitats de genere. Valencia: Universitat de Valencia.Google Scholar
  24. Martin Rojo, L. and Gómez Esteban, C. (2003) ‘Narratives at work: when women take on the role of managers’, in G. Weiss and R. Wodak, Theory and Interdisciplinarity. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  25. Martin Rojo, L. and Gómez Esteban, C. (2003) ‘Lenguaje, identidades de genero y educación’ (‘Language, gender identities and education’), in C. Lomas (ed.), Los chicos tambien Iloran. (Identidades masculinas, igualdad entre los sexos y coeducación). Barcelona: Ed. Paidós, Col. Temas de EducaciOn.Google Scholar
  26. Martin Rojo, L., Gómez Esteban, C. and Santamarina, C. (1995) Estrategias de pareja, identidad y contexto doméstico en directivas-os y profesionales liberales. Google Scholar
  27. (Strategies of Couples, Identity and the Private Sphere among Managers and Professionals.) Informe elaborado para el Instituto de la Mujer, Madrid.Google Scholar
  28. Mumby, D. K. and Clair, R. P. (2000) ‘El discurso en las organizaciones’ (‘Discourse in organizations’), in T. A. van Dijk, El discurso como interaccion social. Barcelona: Gedisa Editorial.Google Scholar
  29. Nicolson, P. (1997) Poder, género y organizaciones. Se valora a Ia mujer en la empresa? (Power, Gender and Organizations. Are Women Valued in Enterprises?) (Madrid: Narcea.Google Scholar
  30. Sanchez Santa-Barbara, E. and Gonzalez Gonzalez, J. M. (1998) ‘Diferencias sexuales en los estilos de dirección en la administración publica?’ (‘Sexual differences in leadership in public administration’), Revista de Psicologia del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones, 14: 141–54.Google Scholar
  31. Sanchez-Apellaniz, M. (1997) Mujeres, dirección y cultura empresarial. (Women, Leadership and Business Culture) Madrid: CIS/FEDEPE.Google Scholar
  32. Stubbe, M., Holmes, J., Vine, B. and Marra, M. (2002) ‘Forget Mars and Venus, let’s go back to Earth! Challenging gender stereotypes in the workplace’, in J. Holmes (ed.) Gendered Speeches in Social Context. Wellington: Victoria University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Tannen, D. (1990) You Just Don’t Understand. Women and Men in Conversation. New York: Ballantine Books.Google Scholar
  34. Tannen, D. (1994) Talking from 9 to 5. How Women’s and Men’s Conversational Styles Affect Who gets Heard, Who gets Credit, Who gets Done at Work. New York: William Morrow.Google Scholar
  35. Walsh, C. (2001) Gender and Discourse: Women in Politics, the Church and the Environmental Movement. New York: Longman.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luisa Martin Rojo
  • Concepción Gómez Esteban

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations