An astounding article from Harvard Business Review demonstrates that statistically speaking, women are better leaders than men across a multitude of leadership skills. Interestingly enough, it was two men who wrote the article! Here are a couple of excerpts, but I highly recommend reading the entire thing.
Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman recently updated their research database and found once again that “women in leadership positions are perceived just as — if not more — competent as their male counterparts. Women are perceived by their managers — particularly their male managers — to be slightly more effective than men at every hierarchical level and in virtually every functional area of the organization. That includes the traditional male bastions of IT, operations, and legal.
Still, the disturbing fact is that the percentage of women in senior leadership roles in businesses has remained relatively steady since we conducted our original research. Only 4.9% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 2% of S&P 500 CEOs are women. And those numbers are declining globally.
This data continues to reinforce our observations from our previous research — women make highly competent leaders, according to those who work most closely with them — and what’s holding them back is not lack of capability but a dearth of opportunity. When given those opportunities, women are just as likely to succeed in higher level positions as men.“