This study examines perceptions of gender and leader emergence. Specifically, the study examines: (1) the extent to which gender is identifiable through anonymous, text-based communication; (2) the effect of an individual's text-based communication on other people's perceptions of that individual as an emerging leader; and, (3) the effect of an individual's physical characteristics on other people's perceptions of that individual as a leader. The mixed-methods analyses are based on data collected from 149 participants in a leadership-preparation process conducted partially in a virtual environment. The results indicate that context mediates the extent to which gender is identifiable through anonymous, text-based communication. The results also indicate that the ways in which individuals participate in a group process affect others' perceptions of those individuals as leaders. In addition, an individual's physical characteristics affect others' perceptions that the individual looks like a leader. Physical characteristics and looking leader-like do not, however, affect perceptions of being a leader.