Sector News

Women are better leaders than men, study of 3,000 managers concludes

April 19, 2017
Diversity & Inclusion

There are twice as many men called John as there are women leading FTSE100 companies.

What’s more, the proportion of women declines at each stage of an executive career path.

But a new study has concluded that women are better suited to leadership than men.

The study, led by Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen, head of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at the BI Norwegian Business School, assessed the personality and characteristics of nearly 3,000 managers.

In nearly all areas, they concluded that women were better leaders than their male counterparts.

Women outperformed men in four of the five categories studied: initiative and clear communication; openness and ability to innovate; sociability and supportiveness; and methodical management and goal-setting.

However men did appear to be better than women at dealing with work-related stress and they had higher levels of emotional stability.

“Businesses must always seek to attract customers and clients and to increase productivity and profits. Our results indicate that women naturally rank higher, in general, than men in their abilities to innovate and lead with clarity and impact,’” said Professor Martinsen.

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

It’s hoped the results of the study will challenge workplace norms.

Whilst people might think progress is being made, the number of women running the 500 most powerful companies in the US fell by more than 12 per cent last year.

“The survey suggests that female leaders may falter through their stronger tendency to worry – or lower emotional stability,” study co-author Professor Lars Glasø said.

“However, this does not negate the fact that they are decidedly more suited to management positions than their male counterparts. If decision-makers ignore this truth, they could effectively be employing less qualified leaders and impairing productivity.”

By Rachel Hosie

Source: The Independent

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