Memo to Hillary Clinton: Want to become President? Lead like a lady.
There’s no shortage of women in top jobs — Meg Whitman runs Hewlett-Packard, Marissa Mayer is CEO at Yahoo, Sheryl Sandberg is COO at Facebook and Mary Barra runs General Motors — but they didn’t get there by joining the Boys’ Club.
“The adage that a man is a leader and a woman is a bitch still exists,” says UNICEF CEO Caryl Stern, who raised more than $600 million last year. “I’m expected to (prove) my credentials and a man’s are assumed.”
And as Clinton knows, there’s a double standard for women in the workplace: When females try to become bosses, they’re bashed for being too aggressive.
“I’ve always been a big, pushy broad … and I think we need to own that more,” ex-City Council Speaker and one-time mayoral front-runner Christine Quinn told the Harvard Gazette last week.
The fact is women are better managers than their male counterparts, studies show. Employees who work for a female boss are 6% more engaged at work than those with a male boss, according to Gallup’s recent survey “State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders.” The survey also found that women leaders are more engaged than men.
Other studies show that female boss are 1.17 times more likely to praise an employee for good work. And woman bosses are more tolerant of employees doing personal chores during work hours and more sympathetic to personal problems than male managers.
“Male qualities such as strength, decisiveness and telling people what to do need to be complemented by more female qualities such as collaboration,” Dr. Bernd Vogel, associate professor of leadership at the Henley Centre for Engaging Leadership told Business Reporter.
Even men agree that women have better leadership skills than men.
“Women make better CEOs,” said Kevin O’Leary of ABC’s business reality show “Shark Tank.”
“They take less risk, they are more goal-oriented in terms of setting targets and meeting them,” he told Entrepreneur. “If they say, ‘I am going to expand capacity’ or ‘We’re going to increase distribution in the next quarter,’ they deliver.”
O’Leary said he’s made more money investing in companies with the female executives than those run by males.
So as Clinton tries for the big promotion, perhaps she can take notes from these five leading ladies — who offer very different takes on what it takes:
By Jeanette Settembre