Research data published by Harvard Business Review indicates women are thought to be more effective in 17 of the 19 competencies measured.
The HBR study followed up on previous research, which showed similar results. The current research analysed 360-degree reviews to determine perceived effectiveness amongst peers for 19 dimensions, identified as differentiators between excellent leaders and poor ones…
We recently updated that research, again looking at our database of 360-degree reviews in which we ask individuals to rate each leaders’ effectiveness overall and to judge how strong they are on specific competencies, and had similar findings: that women in leadership positions are perceived just as — if not more — competent as their male counterparts.
|Capability||Women’s percentile||Men’s percentile|
|Drives for results||53.9||48.8|
|Displays high integrity and honesty||54.0||49.1|
|Inspires and motivates others||53.9||49.7|
|Establishes stretch goals||52.6||49.7|
|Collaboration and teamwork||52.6||50.2|
|Connects to the outside world||51.6||50.3|
|Communicates powerfully and prolifically||51.8||50.7|
|Solves problems and analyzes issues||51.5||50.4|
|Technical or professional expertise||50.1||51.1|
|Develops strategic perspective||50.1||51.4|
Source: Senger Folkman 2019, HBR
The report also highlights gender-differences in self-perception concerning leadership.
Women tend not to rate themselves as capable leaders early in their careers, and the number increases steadily over time. The opposite goes for men, who tend to be initially over-confident in their leadership ability and decline as perception catches up with reality. Perhaps a classic sign of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
Sources and further reading:
Research: Women Score Higher Than Men in Most Leadership Skills (HBR)