Majority Says Having More Female Leaders Would Improve Americans’ Quality Of Life
If there was ever a reason to have more women in leadership roles, we’d like to think that this is it. According to the new “Women and Leadership 2018” study from Pew Research Center, 69 percent of people think that having more females in leadership roles would improve the quality of life somewhat or a lot for all Americans.
But that’s not all. The study found that women are seen as better leaders when it comes to specific qualities in the workplace. Among 12 specific qualities, people believe women are better than men at nine of them.
Women have an edge over men.
In particular, 59 percent said they believe women are better at being compassionate and empathetic, while 43 percent said that women are better at creating a safe and respectful workplace. Only 4 and 5 percent said that men are better, respectively. Additionally, 35 percent said that women are better at valuing people of different backgrounds while only 3 percent said men are better. Forty-two percent said that women are better at working out compromises, and just 11 percent said men are better.
When it comes to being honest and ethical, 30 percent believe women are better and just 3 percent said men are better. As for considering the societal impact of business decisions and mentoring young employees, 33 percent said that women are better at both, while 8 and 9 percent said men are better, respectively. Lastly, 28 percent of people said that women are better at providing fair pay and good benefits and 32 percent said women are better at standing up for what they believe in, while only 5 and 10 percent said men are better, respectively.
The only qualities that people said men were better at were working well under pressure (22 percent), negotiating profitable deals (28 percent) and being willing to take risks (41 percent). Only 14 percent said women are better at working well under pressure, 9 percent said women are better at negotiating profitable deals and 8 percent said women are better at being willing to take risks.
Yet women face more obstacles on their way to the top.
Overall, 59 percent of all adults who participated in the study believe that there are too few women in high political offices and top executive business positions. Unfortunately, the road to the top is often more difficult for women, and 67 percent of people think that it’s easier for men to reach top positions in politics and business.
The study found that about 70 percent of women and about 50 percent of men believe that women are underrepresented in top positions in politics and business because they have to prove themselves more than men. Additionally, about 60 percent of women and 44 percent of men said gender discrimination is a major obstacle that women face in leadership roles.
The future is female.
There is hope for gender equality among leadership positions in the future. The study found that more than half of people — 53 percent — believe that it’s only a matter of time until there are as many women as men in leadership roles in business. Plus, with women being seen as better at 75 percent of the specific leadership qualities discussed in this study, it’s hard to imagine women won’t rise to the top.
For instance, about 90 percent of respondents said that being honest and ethical is an essential leadership quality in both business and politics, and 30 percent believe that women are better at it. Additionally, 89 percent said that it’s necessary for business leaders to create a safe and respectful workplace, and 43 percent believe women are better at doing that.
These results are telling when it comes to the gender disparity we see in American business and politics. If women are seen as being better at essential leadership traits, and 69 percent believe that having women in leadership roles would improve the quality of life for all Americans, then it’s simple: We need more females in leadership, and that’s it.