Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Study concludes women are “better suited” to leadership than men

women leadership qualities.jpg

Years after the publication of her bestselling book Lean In, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg doesn’t think women in the workplace are any better off – citing the fact that less than 6% of Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO.

However a new study looking into personality and leadership has identified key characteristics of effective leaders and found that women score higher than men in four of the five traits – thus concluding that women “are better suited for leadership than their male colleagues when it comes to clarity, innovation, support and targeted meticulousness.”

Which makes it a bit of a shame that there are still more men named John running FTSE companies than women, doesn’t it?

women leadership qualities

The study found that women score higher than men in four of the five leadership quality categories

The research, led by professors Øyvind L. Martinsen and Lars Glasø from the BI Norwegian Business School, assessed nearly 3,000 managers in the private and public sectors and pinned down the following personality traits of effective leadership.

1. Ability to withstand job-related pressure and stress (leaders have a high degree of emotional stability)
2. Ability to take initiative, be clear and communicative (leaders are outgoing, with a high degree of extraversion)
3. Ability to innovate, be curious and have an ambitious vision (effective leaders have a high degree of openness to new experiences)
4. Ability to support, accommodate and include employees (effective leaders display a high degree of sociability)
5. Ability to set goals, be thorough and follow up (effective leaders are generally very methodical)

Women ranked higher in initiative and clear communication, openness and ability to innovate, sociability and supportiveness, methodical management and goal-setting.


Read more: 9 hilarious tips for women in a male-dominated workplace


The one area the study showed men to be stronger in was dealing with work-related stress; Glasø said the findings suggested that “female leaders may falter through their stronger tendency to worry – or lower emotional stability.”

However he pointed out that the trait did not invalidate the other areas in which women excelled, saying: “This does not negate the fact that they [women] are decidedly more suited to management positions than their male counterparts.


Watch: The most bold and brilliant speeches by women


“If decision-makers ignore this truth, they could effectively be employing less qualified leaders and impairing productivity.”

Martinsen said: “These findings pose a legitimate question about the construction of management hierarchy and the current dispensation of women in these roles.”

Images: iStock

Related

iStock-505138830.jpg

Scientists say this is the most effective way of calming anxiety

MAIN_V2_rt.jpg

Should you put ‘radical candour’ to the test at work?

lunch time workers2.jpg

One in five Londoners are too scared to take a lunch break

Comments

Latest...

The Department of Education reveals how much less it pays women

And teachers have responded

by Sarah Biddlecombe
28 Jun 2017

Golden rules of work happiness from Europe’s female tech leaders

From nap rooms to therapists and no overtime

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

How hot does it have to get before you can legally go home from work?

As temperatures climb, it’s time to talk about your rights

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jun 2017

Are you self-employed? These newsletters will help your business bloom

On-point emails packed with entrepreneurial tips

by Anna Brech
15 Jun 2017

How changing your name on your CV can boost career success

No deed poll required

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Jun 2017

This nanny job pays £50,000 – but you have to live in a haunted house

So… do you see dead people?

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Jun 2017

Annie Mac nails why maternity leave can be so difficult for many women

“It’s always weird when someone else does your job”

12 Jun 2017

The surprising way being friends with co-workers affects your career

Work wives, assemble

by Sarah Biddlecombe
09 Jun 2017

Laptop with a view: how getting closer to nature fuels creativity

Fire up your imagination by heading outdoors

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Borrow Amazon’s ‘pizza rule’ for more productive meetings

Napkins at the ready...

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017