“Having women in the highest corporate offices is correlated with increased profitability, according
to a new study of nearly 22,000 publicly traded companies in 91 countries “,
writes Daniel Victor in a New York Times article earlier this week.
This is not the first time data is used to measure the effectiveness of women in leadership positions.
However, this study mentions “increased profitability”. So business leaders will take notice.
(Give us a strong incentive – it does wonders for our attention span ; )
Leadership and gender perceptions
Women leaders are perceived as being more compassionate. More organized. And more honest.
Men leaders are perceived as being more decisive. More ambitious.
In the political arena: general consensus is that women are better at working out compromises.
And at standing up for what they believe in spite of political pressure.
Gender matters in some industries more than others.
Hospitals management and retail chains: women are perceived as doing a better job.
Sports and oil/gas companies: men have the upper hand in this arena.
Leadership built on strengths
Obviously there are differences between leadership styles. Real or perceived.
An effective leader, man or woman, needs to identify and build on strengths.
And avoid the potential pitfalls.
“Presenting leadership as a list of carefully defined qualities
(like strategic, analytical, and performance-oriented) no longer holds.
Instead, true leadership stems from individuality that is honestly
and sometimes imperfectly expressed…
Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.”