Gender, Communication, and the Leadership Gap

Edited by:
Carolyn M. Cunningham Ph.D., Gonzaga University
Heather M. Crandall Ph.D., Gonzaga University

A volume in the series: Women and Leadership. Editor(s): Susan R. Madsen, Utah Valley University. Karen A. Longman, Azusa Pacific University. Faith Wambura Ngunjiri, Concordia College, MN.

This volume titled “Gender, Communication, and the Leadership Gap” highlights connections between the fields of communication and leadership to help solve a persistent social problem. Despite women’s (slow) gains in attaining leadership positions, they continue to be under-represented across almost every sector worldwide. Because women in leadership positions occupy a contested landscape, one goal of this volume is to clarify the contradictory communication dynamics at play that cut across interpersonal and organizational contexts.

Three perspectives guide this volume: gender is socially constructed; leadership is enacted through communication; and, gender differences in the ways that women and men lead are rooted in cultural differences. Until now, communication scholarship on gender has been slow to consider equitable leadership practices. Similarly, leadership research has not adequately addressed how gender differences in communication impact leadership. The contributions to this volume, then, are designed to bridge these gaps to allow for cross-disciplinary connections. Additionally, the literature will be advanced through a section on proposed workable solutions (from a communication and leadership perspective) in working toward equality.

In surveying the academic programs and conventions in communication and leadership, we see exciting moments of innovative practices, new research, theory, and nascent philosophies on gender, communication, and leadership. This volume adopts a range of theoretical, methodological, and conceptual frameworks. Additionally, this volume welcomes global perspectives and will draw upon the contribution of international scholars, activists, media organizations, and case studies.

Chapters in this volume may include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Gender Differences in Verbal Communication. How do gender differences in communication impact perceptions of leaders or leadership emergence? Some topics in this area may include stereotype threat, microaggressions, assertiveness, powerless speech, unconscious bias, communicating confidence, or interrupting.

• Gender Differences in Nonverbal Communication. How do nonverbal markers such as clothing, gestures, or decorations in office space contribute to leadership? Some topics in this area may include negotiating space and power, gender-neutral bathrooms, “manspreading,” impression management in leadership contexts, or proxemics.

• Negotiating Power and Relationships. How do we understand and overcome power dynamics in interpersonal contexts? Some topics in this area may include the “queen bee syndrome,” harassment, mentoring, or work-life balance.

• Intersectionality. How do multiple identity markers impact leadership? Some topics in this area may include differences among women leaders in terms of race/ethnicity, class, and sexuality, intercultural communication and leadership, or global leadership.

• Media Representations. How do media texts construct gender differences among leaders? Topics may include case studies of female and male leaders, leaders in cultural industries, or rhetorical analyses of media texts.

• Gender and Digital Leadership. How do social media and digital environments impact leadership effectiveness? Possible topics include women bloggers, cyber-harassment, leaders in digital spaces, hashtag activism, gender differences in technology use and/or innovation.

• Workplace Policies as Solutions. What are some strategies to promote gender equality in organizations? Some topics in this area may include alliance-building, rubrics for transparency in hiring decisions, case studies of effective workplace policy changes, intentional inclusive guidelines, or approaches for moving beyond glass ceilings and cliffs.

If you have a manuscript that fits but do not see it represented in these areas, please do not hesitate to contact the volume editors.

Chapter authors for Gender, Communication, and the Leadership Gap will be identified based on an initial proposal (described below) to be submitted electronically to the volume editors no later than March 15, 2016 (APA and Word-formatted). Chapter approvals will be communicated to the corresponding author(s) by April 1, 2016. Completed manuscripts should be approximately 15-20 pages (4,000-6,000 words), including figures and tables. Complete chapter drafts must be submitted electronically to the volume editors no later than August 1, 2016.

Chapter proposals should include:
1. Proposed chapter title
2. Author(s) name, title, full contact information, and institutional affiliation (if any)
3. Detailed description of the chapter including (a) purpose, (b) content, (c) key features, and (d) how the chapter will contribute to the volume (750-1000 words)
4. List of anticipated key references