Skip to: Navigation | Content | Sidebar | Footer

The jig is up. The news is out. They finally found that women are perceived to be superior managers to their male counterparts. Stereotypes of females as inherently neurotic and ineffectual just got overturned by the American workforce. That sound you hear? Oh, the glass ceiling’s 18 million cracks only started expanding even further!

While this article links up to formal studies and news of formal studies, it would be wrong of us to purport as fact the attitude that typically “feminine” behavior is a fully biological phenomenon. Nurture and nature alike shape individuals into whom they ultimately become to varying degrees, and we freely admit that these findings ought not be approached as representative of all women. Swallow them as pure generalizations, not rigid confirmations. The ultimate truth is, a good manager is a good manager no matter their gender.

  1. They typically make for better communicators:

    In both their personal and their professional lives alike, women generally maneuver communication-heavy situations with more aptitude than their male peers. As more verbally-oriented individuals, they excel in management situations by clearly conveying their goals and expectations to employees and, if applicable, clients. They forego assuming that others can pick up on visual clues and zoom straight in with explicit instructions on what to do and how to do it right the first time.

  2. They are typically less aggressive:

    Mean Girls aside, the lower amounts of (not lack of) testosterone in the female body chemistry means lessened aggression levels. Socialization plays up the more “passive” angle as more dramatic than it truly is, but the combination of nature and nurture in this scenario grants women an advantage in the workplace. Lessened aggression usually means heightened agreeability (though not crossing over into being a doormat, of course), and in an environment requiring negotiation and compromise, it’s a necessary quality to possess.

  3. They are typically more open to diversity:

    And seeing as how the workplace is diversifying, maneuvering the changes and differing perspectives at hand makes for an essential ability for management material! Workers polled on who makes the best office leaders often point towards women’s comparatively greater accepting of a wide range of insights and backgrounds as a high priority. Once again, since businesses do require compromises from time to time, understanding and appreciating diversity leads to much smoother sailing.

  4. They are typically more flexible:

    While not the same as appreciating and expending the effort to comprehend the ins and outs of workplace diversity, flexibility certainly exists as an excellent trait to be practiced alongside the concept. The most successful female managers eschew rigidity in favor of a more liquid approach to inevitable issues. Whether this means contingency plans or a particular knack for improvising solutions as they arise varies from individual to individual, but either way being flexible works wonders for careers.

  5. They mature faster than men:

    So they have a little more experience with handling adult situations (not the PG-13 kind, folks!) than their male counterparts. In all seriousness, though, women do hit biological maturity quicker than men, and this usually carries over into emotional and mental maturity. Good leaders are obviously allowed to let loose with the funny and the relaxation sometimes, but require the maturity and wisdom to know when to set aside the Nerf guns and get things done.

  6. They are typically better listeners:

    Effective managers need to be effective listeners, able to not only communicate effectively, but parse out viable solutions when employees complain about specific personal or professional issues. Since women so often possess not only improved skills in the auditory department, but heightened “social intelligence” (more on that later), they provide an absolutely necessary service to those underneath their leadership. Researchers argue over whether or not the root of this phenomenon lay buried in biology or sociology, however, but that doesn’t change the findings any.

  7. They are typically better with feelings:

    Like many of the other characteristics listed here, debates surge over just how much the idea of women as emotionally “in touch” sits within the nature and the nurture categories; the delineation is kind of nebulous, and we’re not really equipped to make a judgment call. Regardless of the source, females generally process their own feelings as well as the feelings of others with greater aplomb. Which, again, contributes to a more comfortable, satisfied workforce and a greater chance of finding common ground once problems start requiring an addressing.

  8. They are typically more inclusive:

    We already discussed how employees generally celebrate their female bosses as more open to diversity. And, when practiced in conjunction with the aforementioned emotional aptitude, this means a workplace where everyone feels valued and included in the conversation. Which is the opposite of a hostile environment and definitely makes the HR department eternally grateful.

  9. They are typically more empathic and compassionate:

    Whether by biological or sociological wiring or a combination of the two (probably a combination of the two), females tend toward more empathic and sympathetic displays. The ability to reach out and show love in times of struggle remains one of the most beautiful of human facets, and, of course, a necessity in the office. Employees love feeling included, but they also love knowing that someone above them supports and understands their struggles in and out of the cubicle.

  10. They are statistically less likely to sexually harass their coworkers:

    In 2007, only 16% of workplace sexual harassment were filed by men; the overwhelming majority came from women badgered and marginalized by the males around them. Because of this, an employee working underneath a female boss enjoys a reduced risk of listening to sexually-charged language or even worse, experiencing outright sexual assaults. Obviously, most male mangers probably won’t display such outrageously disrespectful (not to mention illegal) and chauvinistic behavior, either. But they still statistically pose a higher risk.