Women Better Than Men at Leadership's Most Crucial Traits, Report Finds

Women leaders are performing far better than men on almost every one of the key attributes identified as being the most critical to effective leadership, according to the third annual Ketchum Leadership Communications Monitor, a global study that polled 6,500 people in 13 countries.

Canadians are least likely in the world to say that leaders are effective, with only 18% expressing confidence compared to 22% globally. Confidence in the ability of leaders to be effective over the next 12 months is also lower in Canada than other markets (11% vs. 17% globally).

Signaling the rise of a new “feminine” model for leadership communication, the research found that female leaders came out comfortably ahead on all of the top-four most crucial traits of effective leadership, including: leading by example (57% scored female leaders higher vs. 43% rating males better), communicating in an open and transparent way (62% vs. 38%), admitting mistakes (66% vs. 34%), and bringing out the best in others (61% vs. 39%).



“The show-no-weakness, admit-no-errors macho leadership model has been on its sick bed for years,” explains Geoffrey Rowan, Partner and Managing Director for Ketchum Canada. “Our study shows that command-and-control approach to leadership communication, which tends to be one-way, domineering, and even arrogant, is dead. Instead, we are seeing the birth of a new leadership model of communication based on transparency, collaboration, genuine dialogue, clear values and the alignment of words and deeds.”

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