Are Businesses Sustainable without Women in Leadership Roles?

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The growing body of research on this subject indicates businesses will find it increasingly challenging to sustain performance. Male and female leaders in Australia offer significant and different leadership advantages to organisations.

As far back as 2008 in a study by Peter Berry and Associates involving more than 1800 Australian male and female leaders and managers, they found that overall, women have a stronger personality type than men for senior leadership and management roles when measured on eight dimensions.

On the key issue of strategic drive, female leaders scored higher than males. The research report says, “[Females] will be more confident, competitive, visionary and have a stronger presence.” And they were stronger on people skills. “They need and enjoy companionship, will be more diplomatic and thoughtful in their relationships, will care about people and have a strong sense around the importance of teams, networks and communities.”

Males outperform females on bottom-line dollars, showing that their key motivation is around revenue, budgets and profit. “In the private sector and in other organisations concerned with fiscal performance, this offers males an advantage.” “If you are looking for hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners performance, then males have the stronger profile.” Males have scored higher on “control and command” and “bottom line dollars”. “Because [men] dominate executive positions, these two factors will set the tone of the culture for the whole of the organisation.”

Clever companies realise men and women are needed in leadership roles at every organisation level as both are essential contributors to building the constructive cultures necessary to underpin sustainable performance. Constructive cultures have an appropriate balance and focus on task and people, short and long term results, quantity and quality of outputs and individual and collaborative efforts.

It is up to the organisation’s leaders to drive the balance of leadership styles required to achieve their respective outcomes. Are you actively creating the balance you want or are you leaving its development to chance?


Vivente Australia enables leaders and managers develop the bond between people and performance, creating a powerful advantage: the synergy between people, leadership, management, and culture, produces performance that allows your business to achieve its best.

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