CommCore Blog and News

Are women better leaders? HBR says yes.

There’s a new study in the Harvard Business Review of 16 characteristics of leadership  in which female leaders outpace their male counterparts.

Based on experience with hundreds of companies and organizations the categories that don’t surprise me are building relationships and developing others.  Women have anecdotally been acknowledged for this.  Other categories weren’t totally surprising, but it’s good to have the data.  Women scored higher than men in other leadership categories such as:

  • Taking initiative
  • Embracing change
  • Integrity
  • Communicates powerfully and prolifically 

The issue I have with articles like these is that they show differences on a scale.  What they don’t show (much like other ratings of who has a better consumer product) is whether the overall skills of leaders are better than they were 5 years ago or 10 years ago.  I’m not suggesting that they are or are not (I hope leadership skills and abilities are increasing) but the context would be helpful.

An HBR article like is bound to engender comments and other studies. Have you seen any other studies that support these findings?  What’s your view of the HBR study?