WHO’S THE (BETTER) BOSS?
I HAVE ONLY EVER HAD ONE MALE BOSS. And I only reported to him for one year until he was replaced by a woman. So you might think I don’t have the experience to weigh in on whether women make better bosses. But I can say that I’ve never hoped to work for a man again, thinking that they might do a better job.
Recently in The Guardian, leadership coach Graham Russell said he would much rather work for a woman. He said research from global consulting company Gallup backs up his experience. ‘It concludes that female bosses are better [than male bosses] at engaging employees and are more likely to encourage professional development and recognise good work.’ The study also found that ‘ employees who work for a female manager in the US are actually more engaged on average than those who work for a male manager’ and consequently are part of ‘higherperforming workgroups’.
Most of my female bosses encouraged my development and asked about my goals and what they could do to help. They wanted to see me succeed and gave me the tools to progress. These traits are key to creating a supportive environment that is positive and developmental, and where employees feel satis ed and purposeful.
I think, though, that instead of pitting two genders against each other in the leadership stakes, we should highlight the qualities that make for an engaged, successful and inspiring chief and hire and promote accordingly, regardless of gender. And that’s what I hope to be for the people I currently manage on a small team. To be someone who sees them as an equal, regardless of their gender, and offers them the opportunity to perform at their best.