Culture and leadership: women in nonprofit and for-profit leadership positions within the European Union Academic Article uri icon


  • Research has shown that women commonly hold positions of leadership within nonprofit organizations, while men typically hold the leadership positions within for-profit organizations. However, little research on women's leadership roles has been conducted within European Union countries. The purpose of this article is to examine women's leadership positions within nonprofit and for-profit organizations within the European Union and, using Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Theory, to further investigate a potential correlation between national culture and female leadership. Fifty-one companies were examined based on type, country characteristics and gender dominance. A significant difference was found between organization type (nonprofit/for-profit) and organizational dominance (masculine/feminine). The findings suggest that the European Union has patterns of gendered leadership positions similar to patterns found previously in the USA. However, countries that were characterized as feminine had more than expected nonprofit organizations, while masculine countries had more for-profit organizations. 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Claus, V. A., Callahan, J., & Sandlin, J. R.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Claus, Vanessa Ann||Callahan, Jamie||Sandlin, Judy R

publication date

  • July 2013