Do Women Make Better Managers Than Men?

Document created by 1049487 on Oct 28, 2015Last modified by 1049487 on Nov 8, 2015
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Jamaica is the country where you’re most likely to have a female boss. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), just under 60 percent of the Caribbean island nation’s managers are female, the highest level anywhere in the world. Overall, the United States is in 15th place – 43 percent of all American managers are women.


The first question I have for you is how your company stacks up?  What percentage of your managers are female?


Second, if you're well below the average, there is a wealth of research that suggests having more female managers can be very good for your company's bottom line.


Women are more engaged, and have more engaged staffs


In their recent in-depth study, ‘State of the American Manager’ Gallup discovered that employees who work for a female manager in the U.S. are actually more engaged, on average, than those who work for a male manager. While there are many highly successful female and male managers, female managers do have a slight advantage when it comes to engagement. And it’s an advantage leaders should consider when deciding whom to name manager.


The study also found that female managers themselves tend to be more engaged than male managers. Gallup finds that 41% of female managers are engaged at work, compared with 35% of male managers. In fact, female managers of every working-age generation are more engaged than their male counterparts. If female managers, on average, are more engaged than male managers, it stands to reason that they are likely to contribute more to their organization’s current and future success.  A copy of the Gallop report is attached to this article.


Higher Engagement means better performing Teams


Given that female managers are more engaged than male managers, their higher engagement levels likely result in more engaged, higher-performing workgroups. Gallup’s data confirmed that individuals who work for a female manager are six percentage points more engaged, on average, than those who work for a male manager (33% to 27%, respectively).


Women Provide more focus on Personal Development of their Staff


The study also found that employees who work for a female manager are 1.26 times more likely than to believe that their personal development is being encouraged. This suggests that female managers likely are better at cultivating potential in others and helping to define a bright future for their employees. That may also suggest that women are more able to find stimulating tasks to challenge their employees, thus ensuring associates develop within their current roles and beyond.


Female managers are not only more likely than male managers to encourage their subordinates’ development, but they’re also more inclined to check in frequently on their employees’ progress. Those who work for a female boss are 1.29 times more likely than those who work for a male boss to state that “In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.” This suggests that female managers, more so than male managers, tend to provide regular feedback to help their employees achieve their development goals.


Women are more likely to give Recognition and Praise


Those who work for a female manager are 1.17 times more likely than those with a male manager to strongly agree that “In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.” In addition to encouraging associate development through regular conversations about performance, this suggests that female managers are better at providing positive feedback that helps employees feel valued for their everyday contributions. It also indicates that female managers may be better than male managers at helping their employees harness the power of positive reinforcement.


If your company is struggling with turnover, or low engagement or morale, the answer may in part be due to the composition of your supervisors and managers.  Should you have any questions about this topic, or any Learn and GO topic, please call me at 919-325-4113.

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