Very recently I came into knowledge about some studies done to show that women tend to make better managers than men. This got me thinking, is it really possible to empirically say that women are better? For the most part in industrial and corporate history, positions of authority are taken by men, only recently have women come into the picture. With increased gender diversity at the work place, the question had to be brought up one time or the other.
The studies showed that women managers tend to engage more with their employees. They give feedback more often. But are managerial traits limited to just feedback? No. The studies might seem to be inconclusive at worst and paradigm shifting at best, but they open up a very good talking point here.
Women are inherently different from men, both by nature and nurture. Women are brought up in a much different way than men. (This might not be true in the Western countries but please bear with me.) This allows them to see issues in a very different light. Allow me to elaborate.
- Women have an intrinsic maternal character. They empathize with people better, they understand their problems and grievances and always try to make things better. It always helps when you’re working for a company and are stuck on a problem and your manager is nice enough to understand the problem and help you with it. This does not mean that male managers don’t do that, but it is more common among the ladies.
- Men crave for power. Being in a position of authority sometimes messes with their heads and they start getting bossy and ordering people around. In some cases, they might even get super critical of the person that outperforms them. This type of behaviour is much less pronounced in women.
- Ever since childhood, women are made to learn all the trades of the household work in addition to their studies while their brothers do not have to do any of that and spend most of their free time just playing with their “toys”. This makes women extremely efficient multi-taskers while the guys get proficient with playing with said “toys”.
- Women are better community builders. No matter what you say about guy friendship being “SO AWESOME BRO!” and about women being “jealous and superficial”, the fact remains that women are better at forging relationships with others. Just look at any household. If the lady is happy, the whole family is happy and the lifestyle is always better than a bachelor one. This is especially required in a workplace environment where trust building is extremely important.
This has been quite one sided so far, let us look at the other side of the coin too.
- Men are the no nonsense to the point kind. This lessens the time taken in important decision making. Women are a bit too complex in this regard and tend to over analyse things. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing but is really disadvantageous in this context.
- Most of the employees are mere sheep. Unless they have a strong leadership, they tend to falter and deviate from the goal. As mentioned before, men are power hungry and if given a chance, rule things with an iron fist. Unfortunately, for such sheep kind of employees, that is the only suitable style of management.
- Women tend to socialize much more often and as a result, get involved in office politics. As such, remember the point about understanding others better? Well women tend to favour one person’s grievances over the other in light of said politics and hence the seeds of favoritism at the workplace are sown.
In the end, I’d like to point out that these points apply to a lot of male managers too, both positive and negative. Yet, the explanation of these traits lay in the inherent characteristics of women which, to an extent, validates the viewpoint. That being said, I am all for gender diversity at the workplace, after all, who’d know better than me since I am a mechanical engineer.
So where do you work and which gender do you prefer as your manager? Do let me know in the comments section below.