I was asked to share some information about the qualities of women in the workplace. The first thing that came to mind was the recent increase in number of women being promoted into executive positions, including traditional male roles. In the past our female executives were rewarded for what seemed to be their ability to utilize similar male leadership styles. However, today many organizations are looking to change their work environment and it is the qualities of female leaders, that are moving organizations though these transformations.
One question that I wanted to answer was “what are the qualities of women that are now strengthening their roles as leaders?”. One research study by Caliper Corp (listed below) outlined several qualities of successful women as compared to men, as follows:
- Women leaders are more persuasive, assertive, determined, and willing to take risks. Male leaders were prone to push their point of view and convince, rather than to be flexible and persuade.
- While women scored slightly lower than men on ego-strengths, they had higher, interpersonal skills, empathy, flexibility.
There is definitely momentum both politically and socially, that is pushing the work environment in a positive direction for women. It is also wonderful to see now that women can more than ever, leverage their natural abilities. I think that we will find women at all levels will gain from these subtle changes in the workplace. We will succeed by building on our strengths, versus working towards the models of success from the past.