Do Women Make Better Managers Than Men?

Nov 18, 2013 1 Min Read


Do women make better managers than men? If this is the case, why is there a gap in earnings between men and women?

She said:
I think women make better leaders than men. In fact, I think women are better than men in all aspects of managing a business.

He said: I think there are differences in how men and women lead and manage a business. I think overall men do a better job, hence the reason why there are more men in leadership positions.


She said: “Research by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman that comprised a study they did of 7,280 leaders in 2011 looked at leaders that were employed in a variety of positions—from very senior management to individual contributors. In the study, they asked others to rate the leaders in 16 leadership competencies.

According to the data, they found that women out-scored men in all but one of the 16 competencies. In fact, in 12 of the 16 areas women were better by a significant margin.

They build better teams; they’re more liked and respected as managers; they tend to be able to combine intuitive and logical thinking more seamlessly; they’re more aware of the implications of the their own and others’ actions; and they think more accurately about the resources needed to accomplish a given outcome.”p06-07_1911_he-says

He said:
“Women currently hold 23 (4.6%) of CEO positions at those S&P 500 companies. What’s the deal? Why are women still so poorly represented, especially at the most senior levels?” Is it because women can’t take the pain and stress of leadership? Surely, there should be more women in leadership positions if they deserve to be there.

She said: “Women don’t promote themselves. Of the 16 leadership competencies Zenger and Folkman assessed, the only one where men outranked women was developing a strategic perspective.” That clearly shows that women are far superior to men in almost all aspects.

He said: “Men tend to focus on where they want to take their careers. They dedicate time to developing relationships that will support their success. They broaden the scope of their jobs to include work outside of their job descriptions. They clearly show their superiors that they have the capacity and capability to do more.

A Kauffman Foundation study of women and men entrepreneurs found that women put far more emphasis on previous experience as a component of success than men.

Women often feel they must be overqualified to succeed. I think this is a key part of the why men see their careers take off. They do not keep the baggage of the past nor are they weighed down by it.


She said: “Women, on the other hand, tend to put all their energy into simply doing the best possible job in their current position.

Women seem much more inclined to believe that recognition and hard work go hand in hand. They think that if you simply work hard and get great results, you’ll get noticed and promoted.”
He said: “Admirable, but not very accurate.

A career is a journey and not a moment in time. Furthermore, I think men take more risks. Recently, when I gave a task to a man and a woman in our team, I saw the man jumped immediately right in and started shooting.

The woman took her time to think things through and finally got going after a lot of prep. The man initially failed as he was firing everywhere but soon figured out an optimum solution. Both had fairly decent results in the end but the man did better with his end results in spite of his initial failures.”

She said: “I believe that there may be light at the end of the tunnel, though. Young women in their 20s and 30s are starting to promote themselves more and tend to be as confident and ambitious as men.”

He said: “The bigger question we need to ask is why are men generally commanding higher wages and salaries than women in the market place?

She said: “If men and women studying business pursue different career paths, it will affect their pay and ultimately the wage gap. The numbers show that male business graduates are more likely to pursue careers in finance and consulting, while women tend to follow careers in HR and marketing. Men seem to end up with jobs in the highest-paying industries.”


He said: “So this pay gap is then not entirely a function of discrimination against women, although I’m sure there’s probably some of that too. It’s largely a function of the choices men and women make. There may be perfectly good tactical reasons for those choices—the need to repay student loans or the desire to start a family, for example.

Even the Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan has said that men are paid more because men have more years of work experience. He also added that women who become mothers tend to stop working, at least for a period of time, and this affects their salary.”

She said: “Yes, but it is also worth noting that pregnant women also face discrimination in accessing work. Remember the case in November 2014? A Malaysian woman won her court case after she was refused employment as a temporary teacher because she was pregnant.

Not only that, the labour market (in the States) argues that full-time working American women earn only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. However, these numbers don’t take into account the actual number of hours worked.

And it turns out that women work fewer hours than men do. The main reason that women spend less time at work is obvious: children.

Today, childless 20-something women do earn more than their male peers. But most are likely to cut back their hours after they have kids, giving men the hours, and income advantage.”

He said: “Are you suggesting that the wage and hours gap would shrink if employers offered more family-friendly policies, such as flexible hours and child care facilities at the workforce?

We don’t know if there is a way to design workplaces so that women would work more or men would work less or both. What we do know is that no one, anywhere, has yet figured out how to do it.

Which means that for the foreseeable future, at least when it comes to income, women will remain behind. Yes, men do earn more than women on average, but not that much more when they work the same job and they have similar experience and abilities.”


She said: “Perhaps you are right, but there is some encouraging research done by Payscale. They compared male and female pay on a level playing field, using their own proprietary MarketMatch™ Algorithms.

The research extended over a wide field of careers and they were able to create an apples-to-apples comparison of what men and women earn.

The results of these findings indicate that men and women who have comparable experience and qualifications earn relatively similar salaries and wages. Men, on average earn only between 1 and 4 per cent more than their female counter-parts.”

He said: “So we still earn more?

She said: “Yes, but we are still better managers than you guys!

*Disclaimer: This article was written to express a diversity of views and opinions, and does not necessarily reflect the position of any one person in Leaderonomics.

23 WOMEN CEOs of the S&P 500

  •  Mary T. Barra, General Motors Co. (GM)
  • Heather Bresch, Mylan Inc.
  • Ursula M. Burns, Xerox Corp.
  • Debra A. Cafaro, Ventas Inc.
  • Susan M. Cameron, Reynolds American Inc.
  • Safra A. Catz, Oracle Corp. (co-CEO)
  • Lynn J. Good, Duke Energy Corp.
  • Shira Goodman, Staples
  • Tricia Griffith, The Progressive Corp.
  • Marillyn A. Hewson, Lockheed Martin Corp.
  • Vicki Hollub, Occidental Petroleum Corp.
  • Gracia C. Martore, TEGNA
  • Marissa Mayer, Yahoo Inc.
  • Beth E. Mooney, KeyCorp
  • Denise M. Morrison, Campbell Soup Co.
  • Indra K. Nooyi, PepsiCo, Inc.
  • Phebe N. Novakovic, General Dynamics Corp.
  • Patricia K. Poppe, CMS Energy
  • Debra L. Reed, Sempra Energy Corp.
  • Barbara Rentler, Ross Stores Inc.
  • Virginia M. Rometty, International Business Machines (IBM) Corp.
  • Irene B. Rosenfeld, Mondelez International Inc.
  • Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise

Reference: Catalyst. Women CEOs of the S&P 500. New York: Catalyst, September 30, 2016.

Did you know?

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2014 ranked Malaysia as the 107 out of 142 countries for gender equality, in a study that measures health, economics, education and politics.

In the South East Asia region, Malaysia comes in at second last, behind Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei (Cambodia is the only country behind Malaysia, ranked 108).




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This article is published by the editors of with the consent of the guest author. 

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