Do Women Make Better Leaders?

Women leaders are becoming more and more common throughout the world, but more improvements can be made. Here, we talk about why so many stereotypes around the world aren't as they seem.

No, it’s not about feminism. Just straight proven facts. With the International Women’s Day just gone by and protests by women in so many parts of the world pleading for just and fair treatment, including protests concerning physical abuse at home, it was time to give the dangerous and perplexing situation a good look.


Violence Against Women

Even in an ‘enlightened’ country such as France, a woman is killed by her partner, husband or ex partner every three days. 

Let’s give another enlightened country, Sweden, a look. Between 5,000 to 7,000 per 100,000 women are raped in that country according to statistics published by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Rape Statistics. And mind you, these are just reported cases. 

Add to that picture, the everyday discrimination women have to suffer including disparity in wages. 

All of this has gathered such proportions that even a certain percentage women have come to believe that men are better. And here I refer to the ‘enlightened’, university educated women in the developed world based on first hand exchange of views.


Stone Age v Modern Age

Where does this primitive thinking come from in our contemporary society? Is the truth significantly different?

While talking about primitive thinking let’s see if there’s any accuracy to just men being hunters and  providers and the women gatherers during the primeval times. Definitely not according to archeological findings

Fast forward to present day ‘findings’ and let’s see where women stand.

According to evidence, women are better than men at remembering words and faces. This goes on to say that they naturally come up with hard information during an argument. 

Doesn’t that further indicate that they would make better lawyers? This study does not explicitly suggest this but does delve into the superior episodic memory of women.

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Leading The Way: Stereotypes have long held women back in business

Another study of great interest is one more well carried out research that examines in detail via statistical analysis, sensitivity analysis and a clean methodology, the work of male versus female doctors. 

Guess what the findings were? Mortality and readmission rates for patients treated by females physicians were lesser compared to their male counterparts. 


University Studies

That is to say, more patients died at the hands of male physicians. This study was carried out by none other than the Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital and the National Bureau of Economic Research. 

The study is important because it included over a million and half hospitalisations treated by nearly 58,000 physicians. It has also been suggested in the past that male surgeons do not wash their hands thoroughly before an operation resulting in infections that could be well avoided. 

The rules clearly state that before surgery, surgeons have to stand at the scrub sink for five full minutes, and use an under-the-nail brush, and a very strong soap with a scrub brush on each finger, both sides of their hands, and scrub all the way up to their elbows. 

It would be interesting to know how many of them actually follow this basic rule.


Fortune 500

According to Harvard Business Review, “Only 4.9% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 2% of S&P 500 CEOs are women. And those numbers are declining globally.” 

The same study also goes on to say, “As you can see in the chart below, women were rated as excelling in taking initiative, acting with resilience, practicing self-development, driving for results, and displaying high integrity and honesty. 

“In fact, they were thought to be more effective in 84% of the competencies that we most frequently measure.” 

The chart they talk about measures the various skills required by leaders and women clearly come out looking better.

Yet another study confirms that women are equally or more competent than men.

In one of our recent articles we had also gone on to show that women outperform men in the financial sector, clearly beating the indices.


Positive Vibes

On the positive side, even though it should take another 70 years, at the minimum, when women will  be paid per hourly wages similar to men, this report from the World Economic Forum does confirm that the situation is improving. 

The report, among many things, goes on to say, “The emergence of female leaders can become a centrifugal force for good in the world.” 

For the first time, we’re seeing examples of female leaders emerging from across the generations to cross-weave their knowledge and drive for change. 

If we take the environment and climate as an example, someone as experienced and respected as Jane Goodall is standing alongside teenage activists like Greta Thunberg. 

Importantly, there are now ambitious and capable women running influential organisations who can activate physical change through technology and policy. The recent progress with the circular economy and blockchain is a prime example.”

Meeting the youth of today is quite heartening. Not just my opinion but is accepted by many of the intellectuals I interview that the youth of today are nowhere nearly as selfish as the previous generations and are well grounded. 

In fact they are much more open minded and helpful compared with what we have seen in the past. 

This being the current day situation, my hope, perhaps well founded, is that it’ll be much earlier than the 70 to 100 years that research talks about, when women will regain their equal status. 

Yes, they did enjoy that equal status before the advent of organised religion, industrialisation and many other occurrences in our history. But that’s another story altogether.

Photos: Shutterstock

On International Women’s Day, we discussed gender discrimination in the COVID-19 age. Have a read here:

International Women’s Day: COVID-19 Exacerbates Gender Discrimination

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