Breedlove's Briefing: How Women Fare Better on Leadership

November 5 - Stephanie Breedlove
 

Hi! I’m Stephanie Breedlove, Co-Founder of Care.com HomePay, Author and Angel Investor.

I absolutely adore taking an idea and giving it life in the form a business, then leading it to its full potential. Nothing is more fun. (Seriously!) I’d love for every woman who wants to start her own business to say the same thing, so here I am, mentoring millennial entrepreneurs. When I’m not working, I like to recharge and head outdoors to hike, bike, or stand up paddle board!

Is that list of business news and trending articles you’ve tagged still unread? I get it. Allow me to help. Take a couple minutes to read my summary of articles serving the most pertinent, actionable business topics. Or, take 10 minutes to read the full article, and put another brick on the foundation of your growing career.

This Week’s Must-Read:

In Pew Survey, Women Fare Better on Most Leadership Traits

Who it’s for:

Everyone, because understanding leadership traits and strengths creates stronger organizations.

Why it’s important:

The Pew Research Center has garnered unexpected attention over the stark numbers produced in a recent survey that examined the leadership skills people believe women bring to the job. This is particularly interesting against a backdrop of a record number of women running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives this year. A record number! Love to see this progress!

Staying abreast of progress and hurdles for women in business will help us more successfully shape our own paths. So here’s some really good stuff to know:

  1. 43 percent of the survey respondents said men and women have basically similar leadership styles. Among the 57 percent who said men and women have different styles, most said neither style is better, and 62 percent expressed no preference for either style.
  2. A deeper dive into the leadership attributes examined in the Pew survey shows that women fared slightly better on almost all attributes. Of the nine leadership qualities listed for political leaders, men fared better than women on only one: being willing to take risks.
  3. Of the 12 traits listed for business leaders, women fared better on all but three: risk-taking, being persuasive, and making profitable deals.
  4. 31 percent of respondents said women were better at being honest and ethical – an essential leadership trait – while 4 percent said men were better.
  5. 42 percent of respondents said women were better at working out compromises, compared with 8 percent who favored men.
  6. 89 percent of respondents said creating a safe and respectful workplace was an essential quality, and respondents favored women by far, with 43 percent saying women were better at this trait and 5 percent saying men were.
  7. 59 percent of respondents said women were better at being compassionate and empathetic, compared with 4 percent favoring men.
  8. 84 percent of respondents said providing good pay and benefits were essential qualities; 28 percent said women were better at this trait, while 5 percent favored men.

The results aren’t altogether surprising, but it’s always valuable to see hard data behind what we know to be desirable leadership qualities. This topic remains a complex and controversial area, and it’s made even more complicated by the expectations people have of how men and women “should” act as leaders.

Top Take-Away/Final Thought: The Pew survey is only a poll of public opinion, of course, but on nearly every leadership trait in the survey, most people see no difference between male and female leaders. Definitely jaw-dropping, good news!

Want to check out the full survey? Here ya go:

Views on Leadership Traits and Competencies

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