Men versus women in top management
Firm performance can be measured in so many ways and according to so many factors. One of these factors may be gender and the issues linked to it in the business world. The long-discussed problem of women entering the business world and occupying a wide range of positions that are generally thought as masculine, appears to reach now a common level of understanding. Companies are now displaying encouragement for female candidates to apply to vacant positions and the response does not fail to emerge. More and more women now hold important positions in the hierarchy of a company, thus creating confidence for others to follow.
There is a differentiation between the jobs women take in the structure of a company: the first is below the CEO position and the second is occupying the CEO position. There are various studies performed on this matter and the results are fairly different. The difference comes from the fact that women take jobs that are generally thought to be destined to men, the so-called “masculine tasks”. Gender disparity acts in this situation as a key factor that cannot be set aside in a thorough analysis of the phenomenon.
It has been proved that there is a strong association between firm performance and female participation, in the sense that women’s leading style is visibly different from that of men. Studies show that companies that are focused on an “innovation intensive” strategy are directly driven towards good results in performance measurement with a female leader. And why this idea? Because women carry a management system that is less focused on hierarchy and more on interaction, on teamwork that is guaranteed to stimulate creativity and motivate the employees.
There is however a downside to having a female leader, and by that we refer to diversity: the fact that women managers tend to focus more on teamwork, therefore creating work groups, is likely to give rise to unwanted situations of disagreement, based on the diversity of opinion. This kind of internal conflict is highly due to affect the decision-making process in the company and seriously harm performance. Moreover, companies may encounter situations in which male employees present resistance to work with women, this also being categorized as a gender issue. Another disadvantage, as considered by some specialists, is the fact that women are not always as aggressive as men in adopting and implementing a strategy or taking a decision. This also being a quality mostly attributed to men, is particularly not helping the image of women in the business world.
It is a fact today that women make greater efforts to perform certain activities and strive for great results. This is perhaps due to the fact that competition happens in all circumstances, at all levels. And it is just this constant effort to be as good as or even better than men that makes women at some point much more suitable for leading positions.
All in all, the question of women occupying leading positions in companies is still open, and more opinions on the matter can be given. An objective opinion highlights the suitability of a person for a job, leaving out the gender issue. Many exceptions have emerged in the career-choosing process and many more are yet to come. The subject is open to discussion.
- Dezso, C. L. and Ross, D. G. (2008), “Girl power”: Female participation in top management and firm performance