Monday, January 19, 2009

Gender Differences in Leadership

What do you think?

Despite expertise and education, women are simply not gaining access to top corporate positions in numbers that correlate to readiness. Consider:

· Under 2 percent of the top five earners at Fortune 500 and 1000 companies are women
· 97.5% of CEOs of large corporations are men
· The majority of college graduates are women

Contrary to popular beliefs and politically correct assumptions, IMPORTANT gender differences do exist. When comparing men and women leaders’ inherent personality traits and risk factors for derailment with validated psychometric assessment instruments*, the averaged results reveal differences that matter.

Women tend to be warmer, compassionate, supportive, and better at building and maintaining relationships. Unfortunately, they have more significant risks as “Worriers” which translates to being cautious, slow decision makers who tend to over-analyze because of the fear of failure.

Men, on the other hand, tend to be more candid and direct and may be more strategic than operationally inclined. Men have more significant risk factors as Egotists, Rule Breakers, and Upstagers. This means men are more outspoken, bold, arrogant, prankish, willing to challenge, stubborn, limelight seeking, and tend to fight (and succeed) more intensely on the corporate ladders.

So, it turns out that under stress or when the heat is on, men tend to be more aggressive, outspoken, and argumentative. Men tend to "move against" the "opposition" or those in their way. On the other hand, (many) women -- under the same tension or conflict will go back and re-study or over-analyze rather than fight for turf or power. With women where there is a greater instance of "worrier" profiles, they will move away from the conflict or stress point.

These "tendancies" are based on averages on the leader profiles of the research group. (Women N=120; Men N=111)

How does this mesh with your experience? Your thoughts?

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