Man vs. woman – it is an epic debate for the ages, and one that almost always sparks controversy and conversation. While it may seem sexist and even immature to state that all women are better company directors than all males, there is research to suggest that females do possess some traits and characteristics that make many of them more suitable for jobs in management.
Consider the following three advantages that women directors have over their male counterparts (Note: Before we list these advantages we should state that all woman are not better than their male counterparts in the following skills, but that on average many females have strengths in these areas that make them successful directors.):
1. Faster Learners
A study from the University of Georgia has shown that females as a group learn faster than males and this trait could give women an advantage in terms of becoming oriented with their job position and familiarizing with key objectives. This trait also helps many women recognize pertinent issues that need to be addressed.
Now, is this to say that women have higher IQ’s or are more competent than males? No, but the research does show that a higher percentage of females tend to pick up on new concepts faster. What’s interesting to note is that researchers suspect females are able to learn faster and get higher grades not solely because of their intellectual attributes, but because they have a different social approach to learning and interacting with teachers in the classroom (or supervisors in the workplace).
2. Attentive Listening
It is suggested that one of the reasons why women learn better than men is that their relatively docile nature lets them attentively listen without attempting to dominate or prematurely participate in the conversation. On the other hand lots of men have the tendency to want to assert their will and input in a conversation, so they tend to interject more, on average. Attentive listening not only gives women the advantage of picking up and retaining more facts. It also helps them address the concerns of customers more effectively.
So why are women (on average) better listeners than men? Well, it is postulated that due to the way society has operated for thousands of years (with females everywhere playing a more submissive role up until about a century ago) females may have gotten used to taking instruction without interrupting, and it just so happens that this has ironically given many women a business advantage in modern times.
3. Comforting Communication
If you have an iPhone you might have noticed that the the voice-activated assistant has a female voice. You might have also noticed this characteristic in GPS systems and other electronic speech programs. Why do software developers choose female voices more often than male voices? Probably because research has shown that female voices do a better job of keeping the listener calm.
It is suspected that maternal instincts and memories of our mothers calming us down as infants may play a role as to why we’re programmed (pun intended) to feel more relaxed when a female is speaking than when a male is speaking. This trait may help female directors get their points across and calm customers’ concerns more efficiently than many of their male counterparts.
About the Author
Stacy Hammer is a Senior Corporate Insolvency Manager with Real Business Rescue, a firm of UK insolvency practitioners specializing in providing recovery and restructuring services to company directors.