Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The six personality traits that women in leadership roles all share

rexfeatures_566130d.jpg
10914906_989503197746129_2819310052796572155_o.jpg

Do you dream of one day being the boss where you work? Or, even better, the CEO of your own business? 

Well notebooks at the ready, because a new study has identified the personality traits that women in leadership roles have in common, including assertiveness, empathy and ego-strength.

Researchers at management consultancy firm Caliper studied the traits associated with women in work and tried to identify if there was a source to the dramatic under-representation of women in top roles at large companies that could be addressed.

They spoke to 85 women at a vice-president or more senior role over a functional area in a company, like sales, marketing or research and asked them to fill out a personality test as well as surveys about how they thought about their success in different areas.

It emerged that the following traits were displayed by the majority of the leaders:

Assertiveness: Being straightforward in your communication style 

Aggressiveness (we prefer the word Drive for this one): Bringing in a constructive, emotional element to move projects forward 

Empathy: Being able to understand and relate to the feelings of others 

Ego-Strength: Being resilient and able to overcome challenges 

Stress Tolerance: Being comfortable in high-stress environments 

Energy: Bringing vitality and enthusiasm to your work

Sheryl

Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In encouraged empathy and assertiveness

Linking all of these traits positioned women to succeed in both leading a team and the responsibility of a management role.

The research also identified negative traits that might be holding women back from reaching leadership. The data showed that a link between self-analysis and being accommodating can hold you back because success relies on influencing others, as well as taking in their ideas and needs. Dr Thomas E. Schoenfelder who carried out the research, said "Accommodation is the degree that you want to be helpful and liked by others. People with a high level of accommodation struggle in leadership."

The study also identified that women are hampered by a phenomenon known as 'stereotype threat' - when women are alerted to the fact that typically they may not reach leadership, or that the more ruthless qualities associated with leaders are "not feminine", they become less ambitious.

However, the researchers hope that by identifying the traits of successful women, this may inspire women to aspire to them and be less susceptible to stereotype threat.

What do you think? Do women have to display certain traits to reach the top or is it possible for anybody? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or tweet us @stylistmagazine

Images: Rex Features, Scandal/Facebook, Words: Victoria Gray

Related

mindy-use.jpg

My happiness secrets by Mindy Kaling

NICOLE FINAL.PNG

Top London chef quits restaurant scene to become school cook

window work sleep

New infographic breaks down how to be more productive

Comments

More

Clueless nearly never got made because of Hollywood sexism

As Cher would say, as if

by Jasmine Andersson
23 Jun 2017

Starbucks are hiring 2,500 refugees across Europe

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

Man carries out flower girl duties with immense pride and solemnity

His commitment is quite something

by Amy Swales
23 Jun 2017

Shocking US law says men can finish sex if woman withdraws consent

Shocking

by Moya Crockett
23 Jun 2017

Serial fans, Adnan Syed has been given a second chance in court

New hope for Syed supporters

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

The scientific reason summer turns you into a horrible person

A new study confirms that we’re not very nice when we’re too hot

by Moya Crockett
23 Jun 2017

The 5 most surprising things I learnt from appearing on First Dates

What's it really like to appear on First Dates?

by Jasmine Andersson
22 Jun 2017

Rihanna just gave a heartbroken fan the best relationship advice

The pop star took time out to give a fan this brilliant tip

by Stylist
22 Jun 2017

First Dates fans respond to “shocking” mansplaining incident

“A frightened, insecure monkey hanging on to his patriarchal perch for dear life”

by Kayleigh Dray
22 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