The data has been analyzed, and the results are in. Women in the workplace scored much higher on leadership effectiveness than the men. Researchers John Zenger and Joseph Folkman cite sixteen qualities that make for better leadership. These include the current collaborative workplace model that plays to women’s strengths, women being better listeners and better at building relationships.
It isn’t shocking that there are so few women heading business. There is currently a dismal (yet record) amount of twenty one female Fortune 500 CEOs.
The real question is this: why do only 18% of women aspire to be the CEO? Are our sights automatically set lower, stunted by the renowned glass ceiling?
It took long enough for womenkind to break into corporate America, rising above secretarial and into command position. There still has yet to be a woman candidate for President from either of the majority parties.
Time for a history lesson. The 19th Amendment, which federally granted women’s suffrage, was not ratified until 1920. It has not even been a hundred years since women were granted the right to vote! Twenty five years later when WWII ended, the plethora of women who had joined the work force were politically pushed back to their original place on the home front. Historically, this is not the nation to encourage female leaders.
Are we really supposed to be surprised that America’s women do not encompass more leadership positions, despite their admirable and leader-worthy qualities? Give them another century and find a majority female Fortune 500 CEOs.