Part I: The Cohesive Power of Women in Leadership
According to Gallup’s survey of almost 27 million employees worldwide conducted in 2017, women in leadership still have a long way to go — not that we needed a survey to tell us that. At best, there are mixed views about women in the workplace and in a position of authority. But here are the facts: female bosses outperform their male counterparts, excelling at employee engagement. This is probably also because they are nearly always held to a higher standard of performance.
Additionally, the gender divide is still very much the elephant in the proverbial room. 48% of women would prefer to work for a female manager, with 72% of them feeling very positive about having women leaders in their organization, and 42% trusting women more than men to lead a company.
The men, however, feel otherwise. Just 28% of them would prefer to work for a female manager, only 53% feel very positive about having women leaders in the organization, and a meager 17% would trust a woman more than a man to lead a company.
We cannot conclude that women’s leadership skills are more impactful than men’s skills or vice versa, but it is clear that gender differences do exist and people and organizations capitalize on them. It boils down to wanting to maintain a status quo perhaps. In psychological terms, it’s also a cognitive bias: the similarity or “like me” bias. When something is similar to us, it makes us feel safe. We are more prone to embracing it and trusting it. Since men have always been more common in the workplace, it is difficult for them to mentally accept women taking positions of power.
Things at OneByte are done differently though. There is no room for a similarity bias — everyone, regardless of demographics, is judged on merit and skill alone. We are proud to not only have women in leadership, but also women dotted throughout our mid-levels and junior levels, ensuring a well-rounded workforce. We are also proud of having built a team full of individuals who don’t have antiquated views about working with women. We consider the word ‘complementary’ is better than the word ‘different’ when talking about leadership styles and that it is possible for leaders to develop a series of skills that are not necessarily traditionally linked to their own gender.
To reiterate the above sentiment, we sat down with three women who hold leadership positions in our family of 70+. Each of them comes with a unique set of skills and personalities and adds value to our business. We had a casual conversation with each of them to gain insight into who they are as professionals and as people, and what their jobs mean to them. Stay tuned for the next installment in this series, to meet our first Woman in Leadership.