A Study in Leadership: Women do it Better than Men

While surveys still show that workers of both genders prefer a male boss, it might be time to look at the science of female bosses.

A survey of 7,280 leaders who were evaluated in 2011 showed that women outperform men in a range of categories and are overall better leaders. The categories where women scored significantly higher than men included “takes initiative,” “practices self-development,” “displays high integrity and honesty,” “drives for results,” and “develops others.” Whew, ladies are awesome.

What does this mean for women in the workplace? Well the implications of this research are quite profound. Jack Zenger, CEO and Co-founder of Zenger Folkman, stated: “It is a well-known fact that women are underrepresented at senior levels of management. Yet the data suggests that by adding more women the overall effectiveness of the leadership team would go up.”

Organizations go outside to recruit effective leaders when in many cases they may well have internal people who could rise to fill the position that is vacant. Joe Folkman, President of Zenger Folkman, noted that “while men excel in the technical and strategic arenas, women clearly have the advantage in the extremely important areas of people relationships and communication. They also surpass their male counterparts in driving for results. This we know is counterintuitive to many men.”

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