On Top of the World: Women's Political Leadership in Scandinavia and Beyond

On Top of the World: Women's Political Leadership in Scandinavia and Beyond

On Top of the World: Women's Political Leadership in Scandinavia and Beyond

On Top of the World: Women's Political Leadership in Scandinavia and Beyond

Synopsis

An examination of the political and social characteristics particular to Scandinavia which have made women's rise to power more rapid than in other regions of the world, this study also explores how the resulting election of women has provided valuable evidence of the impact of women leaders and their leadership style. Solheim begins with a critical survey of feminist scholarship regarding the equality-difference debate and the application of such research on the position of women in international politics. He concludes, in this respect, that leadership style may have less to do with gender than one might initially suspect. Archival research and interviews with women in leadership roles provide the reader with a closer look at the Scandinavian system, a view that will challenge gender stereotypes around the world.

Excerpt

The Glory of Creation is in its infinite diversity and in the ways our differences combine to create meaning and beauty.

--Spock, from the Star Trek episode, "Is There in Truth, No Beauty?"

My interest in the topic of women in power was generated, in part, by my experiences in the military. As a military officer I was expected to exhibit certain leadership qualities. The problem was that my less strident style of leadership, using cooperation and persuasion rather than intimidation, did not please my superior officers. I was criticized for my apparent lack of aggressiveness. Eventually, I left the military only to end up in the paramilitary world of corporate America. As an administrator with a major corporation, I was one of several young men being groomed for future management. One day my boss took me aside and said: "Your work is excellent, but you need to be more aggressive." He went on to compare me to another young ad-

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