The Careerist: Who Knew? Women Trump Men in Leadership

April 4, 2012 6:15 PM

The Careerist: Who Knew? Women Trump Men in Leadership

Posted by Vivia Chen

To be frank, I don’t buy a lot of the folklore out there about how women—particularly, working moms—make better leaders. You’ve heard the pitch: Women have more empathy, more emotional intelligence, a wider array of life experiences. And if they’re mothers, they’re also supposed to be more patient, more versed in handling tantrums, and more resilient to competing demands—all which come in handy when you’re in the messy business of leading the troops.

I think those are overblown stereotypes, but women—for whatever reason—are getting respect as leaders. According to the Harvard Business Review blog, women are beating out men on the leadership front—often by a very healthy margin.

According to a study of over 7,000 leaders in an array of occupations, women outperform men across the board, from forepersons to senior managers. In the category of top management (including executive and senior members), for example, women got a 67.7 percent rating for being effective leaders versus 57.7 percent for men.

This is a nice surprise—especially since so much chatter tends to be focused on how female bosses are dreaded.

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