There are certain areas of the workplace that are dominated by men. For example, the typical “IT guy” in the workplace is just that: a guy. The research confirms some stereotypes about men and women leaders in the workplace, but also holds a surprise: Women are more effective leaders in male-dominated work functions.
In analysis of over 7,000 male and female leaders from a wide variety of industries in North America, Europe, South America and the Pacific Rim countries, it was found that males dominate in certain functions such as sales (76%), general management (77%), engineering (87%), etc. The only areas that consisted of more females were administrative (56%) and human resources (68%). The question arose: Are women not in the other areas because they don’t excel in them? After performing 360-degree feedback analysis on these male and female leaders, Zenger Folkman found that just because women were underrepresented didn’t mean they weren’t qualified.
Co-founders Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman discussed their findings this week in an exclusive column for Harvard Business Review.
Click here to read the HBR column.
To view the results of the report, visit the Leadership Resource Center.
Of the 15 areas of business that Zenger Folkman examined, women excelled above men in 12 of them. The only areas where females didn’t excel were administrative, customer service and facilities management.
“It’s time to put our notion of gender roles in the workplace to rest,” said Joe Folkman, President and Co-founder, Zenger Folkman. “Women excel when given the opportunity. And so do men, particularly when they, too, feel the need to prove themselves in nontraditional roles. The good news about this research isn’t that women are better than men. It’s that both men and women can develop their leadership skills and abilities, and no area need be reserved for one or the other.”
Zenger Folkman is the authority in strengths-based leadership development. Their award-winning programs employ research-based methods that improve organizations and turn good managers into extraordinary leaders.