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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Family Business Center

Would You Rather Work for a Woman or A Man?

Current Research Validates Significant Differences

There might never be a concrete answer to this age-old question. Rick Giombetti, President of Giombetti Associates, a leadership development consulting firm, has discovered some significant personality differences between the two. Erik Erikson, a Danish-German-American developmental psychologist who studied social development of young children, observed that young females, when given play blocks, built enclosures; while young males built towers. Enclosures, said Erickson represent females’ tendencies for sense of community, belonging and nurturing themes; while males’ tendencies represented a desire to compete and prevail. Giombetti’s assessments of women executives reveal a 68th percentile for social skills while their male counterparts’ scored on the average of the 56th percentile. Women tend to build stronger relationships with their staffs and customers. Scores for a personality trait called reward are higher for women (55th percentile) than men (43rd percentile); implying that females are quicker and more likely to provide supportive and positive feedback. Female executives also lower than males for competing (58 vs. 71 percentile) explaining why women tend to be less aggressive, have better team building skills and are interested in collaboration.

Whether you’re from the dinosaur age or Gen Y, consider that you may require a shift in mind set, so that you may lead your organization in the manner in which women seem to have an inside track.

The days of “Mary, can you get me a cup of coffee?” are extinct! Offices from Main Street to Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue await the power of those who can do what comes naturally.

 

Rick Giombetti of Giombetti Associates is a Corporate Partner of the UMass Family Business Center

 

 

 

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