Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman ignited a firestorm of interest and debate with their March Harvard Business Review blog post Are Women Better Leaders than Men? Based on a recent survey of 7,280 leaders the study reinforced some long held beliefs and uncovered a few surprises in the gender debate.
They did confirm that 2/3 of leaders are men, and in higher organizational levels there are even higher numbers of men in charge. And women proved to be better at nurturing competencies such as developing others and building relationships.
But women’s strengths went much further and were broader than the nurturing stereotypes. Zenger and Folkman found, “at every level, more women were rated by their peers, their bosses, their direct reports, and their other associates as better overall leaders than their male counterparts — and the higher the level, the wider that gap grows.” Women were rated higher in 12 of the 16 competencies derived from 30 years of research and ZengerFolkman’s large survey database.
Their blog post has generated over 200 comments and perspectives on this issue so far. The Washington Post reports on “a whirlwind of response … one of the most read articles on the (HBR) site in the past 30 days.” Jena McGregor published an interview with Zenger and Folkman last Friday. Here are a few interesting conclusions:
Here’s where you can explore more interviews and articles on this and related research:
To all those men in senior executive roles — especially technical organizations — wake up! Jack Zenger noted that “when looking at the percentage of males and females who were rated the highest and the lowest, females have a lower percentage of the worst and a higher percentage of the best.” Why aren’t you using all that strength?
[...] New Study Shows Women Do It Better Than Men for my original blog post. Since publishing that blog with links to mainstream publications who [...]
Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner