Women Rank Higher On Leadership Scores

The Female Leader

In her ground-breaking book, ‘See Jane Lead.’ Lois P Frankel highlights women are already leaders, it comes naturally to us, but we don’t call it leadership. Dr. Frankel explains how women can overcome ingrained childhood behaviors that hold us back.

What Is Expected?

Leadership is about gaining followership. It is about achieving a vision through others. Leadership is no longer about titles, authority, and control. The employment relationship has radically changed since those days. Employees don’t just expect to be extrinsically rewarded by pay for their efforts; they look for intrinsic rewards within jobs. Frederick Hertzberg’s two-factor theory articulates this. He identified how recognition, achievement, camaraderie, a sense of growth, advancement, and responsibility enriches a job and improves job satisfaction levels. These motivators are not found in autocratic style leadership but facilitative style leadership. This is something women excel in over their male counterparts.

Perceptions

In June 2019, Jack Zenger and Joseph Fokman published an article in Harvard business review. The article details why women scored more highly than men in leadership skills. They highlight only 4.9% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 2% of S&P 500 CEOs are women. Research has shown that unconscious bias plays a significant role in hiring and promotion decisions, contributing to the lower number of women in key positions. However, women are seen by their officials — particularly male managers — to be slightly more proficient than men at every ranked level and in virtually every functional area of the organization. That includes the traditional male supports of legal, IT, and operations.

Male Leaders…or Female?

They provide the results below and state how women rate higher in taking the initiative, acting with, driving results, and demonstrating integrity and honesty, critical to gaining trust. Women were thought to be more effective in 84% of the competencies required of leaders. The analysis was generated from thousands of 360-degree reviews. These are reviews conducted by all those you work with, including your employees, mutual associates, and seniors. These reviews get a sense of your abilities from all those you work alongside. Women outscored men on 17 of 19 capabilities which differentiates excellent leaders from average or poor leaders.

Capability Women’s Percentile / Men’s Percentile

Takes the initiative 55.6 / 48.2
Resilience 54.7 / 49.3
Practices self-development 54.8 / 49.6
Drives for results 53.9 / 48.8
Displays high integrity and honesty 54.0 / 49.1
Develops others 54.1 / 49.8
Inspires and motivates others 53.9 / 49.7
Bold leadership 53.2 / 49.8
Builds relationships 53.2 / 49.9
Champions change 53.1 / 49.8
Establishes stretch goals 52.6 / 49.7
Collaboration and teamwork 52.6 / 50.2
Connects to the outside world 51.6 / 50.3
Communicates powerfully and
prolifically 51.8 / 50.7
Solves problems and analyses
issues 51.5 / 50.4
Leadership speed 51.5 / 50.5
Innovates 51.4 / 51.0
Technical or professional
expertise 50.1 / 51.1
Develops strategic perspective 50.1 / 51.4
Source: Zenger Folkman 2019 © HBR

What Does It Mean?

Interestingly, when they compared how women perceived their competencies compared to men, women were better than they thought they were, and men were overconfident.

Many research studies demonstrate women are less likely to apply for jobs unless they are confident; they meet the listed criteria. A man and woman with identical credentials, who both lack experience for a higher-level position, come to different conclusions about being prepared for the promotion. A man is more prone to speculate that he can learn what he doesn’t know while in the new job. At the same time, a woman is inclined to be warier and less willing to step up in that circumstance.

Moving Forward

Is it not time we start looking at the lower levels of confidence of girls? Is it that we are taught to live through others, or women’s notion of leadership is false? Maybe the plight of women in leadership creates a misleading image of the corporate grey-suited tough woman as the only way to be a leader?

Women should be encouraged to go for top jobs and get promoted early in their careers. No matter your upbringing or background, there is a place for your resilience, knowledge, and insight, ability to empower and inspire others, raise others and get those results.

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The Female Leader

In her ground-breaking book, ‘See Jane Lead’. Lois P Frankel highlights women are already leaders, it comes naturally to us, but we don’t call it leadership. Dr Frankel explains how women can overcome ingrained childhood behaviours that hold us back.

What Is Expected?

Leadership is about gaining followership. It is about achieving a vision through others. Leadership is no longer about titles, authority, and control. The employment relationship has radically changed since those days. Employees don’t just expect to be extrinsically rewarded by pay for their efforts; they look for intrinsic rewards within jobs. Frederick Hertzberg’s two-factor theory articulates this. He identified how recognition, achievement, camaraderie, a sense of growth, advancement and responsibility enriches a job and improves job satisfaction levels. These motivators are not found in autocratic style leadership but facilitative style leadership. This is something women excel in over their male counterparts.

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