Qualities of Women Leaders

What differentiates women leaders from the pack? A study by researchers from the University of Rhode Island College of Business Administration, the University of Oxford Saïd Business School, and the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London sought to find out.
Researchers interviewed 12 female CEOs, along with 139 male chief executives, across the world to see what made them tick. Here are some of the insights that stood out.

Women leaders are quicker to ask for promotions. Many women hesitate to ask for a promotion until they feel certain they have the skills to handle it, but women leaders embrace the uncertainty of learning as they go. They also actively seek out stretch assignments.

Women leaders accept and embrace trade-offs. While some women struggle to be the perfect worker, perfect wife, and perfect mom, women leaders understand that whatever role they choose to excel in will take away from others. For example, they are willing to find solutions for their personal lives that will help them thrive professionally. They also believe women can take time out of the workforce, then step back in and thrive.

Women leaders craft a unique leadership style. Women leaders don’t merely mimic the leadership qualities of men. Rather, they embrace some stereotypically male qualities, such as big-picture thinking while incorporating qualities typically associated with women, such as a nurturing and open communication style.

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