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Do women make better bosses than men?

03:00 AEST Mon Mar 26 2012
Do women make better bosses than men?
Do women make better bosses than men?

Women in management have a reputation for being demanding and difficult but a new study has found they're actually better bosses than men.

The survey found that women bosses were more democratic and easier to communicate with, allowing their employees to participate in decision-making and encouraging feedback on management policies.

"In line with known gender differences in individual leadership, we find that in workplaces with more women managers, more individualised employee feedback is carried out," study author Eduardo Melero, a professor in the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid department of business administration, said.

"Likewise, we can see evidence, although weaker, that in these workplaces decisions are made more democratically and more interpersonal channels of communications are established."

Melero studied data from the Workplace Employment Relationships Survey, a comprehensive study of UK workplaces.

He examined the number of women in management positions, and then studied the leadership strategies and performance of those companies.

He found that workplaces with a large number of female managers were far more democratic, using employee feedback in all decision-making.

As a result, those workplaces made better, more informed decisions and reported higher levels of employee satisfaction because workers felt like they were contributing to the company and having their voices heard.

The research was published in the Journal of Business Research.

Do you think women make better bosses? Have your say.

User comments
It all depends on a person's background. The more educated, hard-working, approachable and a balanced relationship a boss has with their client's and employee's makes them a better boss. I’ve dealt with a lot of female bosses and the majority of them have been nasty backstabbing little *** and the male bosses I’ve had have been just plain creepy, both of which have had fewer years’ experience and no education or qualifications. But the ones that have done the time at University and worked their way up to the top are better when it comes to crunch time and dealing with people.
My best boss has been a woman, my worst boss has been a man, Men and women fill the spaces equally in between. I do not agree that women let the power go to their head per se. Men do as well. It is in the make up of the person and the styles they have developed. Women confident in their own skin and with their own skills and abilities do make good managers but the same can be said for men. Where women differ is in their intuitive skills and empathy which means that they can be more sensitvie and democratic. Younger women managers have grown up with the expectation of equality and leadership and do not go on power trips as a group. There are exceptions of course. To say as Felan does that men are more used to being bosses suggests to me that Felan is of an older generation because I can assure them that the younger women managers are accustomed to leadership and being bosses.
I can objectively say that my very best and very worst bosses have been female. It's down to personality and management skills, not gender.
How big was the sample of data you collected? maybe 10 companies? Hardly representative of an entire populace of companies, that's even assuming you could calculate a correct margin of error. What a ***!!!!!!!! Learn statistics buddy.
Women let the power go to their heads and because they are on a "power trip" those that they deal with or who are their subordinates have to bear the brunt of their arrogance and impact of some of those hard decisions.
Women are bitchy and men are too, in my office my boss is a woman and she always has a male beside her who is a bitchy too, we have a team of girls and we all get on really good but this guys is always talking about us or he talks bad about our boss, and then our boss talks crap about us and the guy. But then every work place is different. Is just depending of the person and not the gender.
My informal water cooler surveys have always indicated the opposite. On average, both men and women prefer to be managed by men. In my experience, males are more straight forward with performance feedback. A male will state, ''look Jim, you'd better sort out that stuff at home and pull finger here at work pretty damn fast because these mistakes are making us all look bad and especially youself.'' A woman makes an appointment where, along with a HR rep, one's annual objectives will be scrutinised in detail and a new performance plan will be drawn up to be signed by all remotely concerned... Textbook stuff that kills employees from the inside!!! On the other hand, there are exceptions to all generalisations...
I am a female myself...and work in a team with all FEMALE managers and I can't STAND IT!!! This is not to say that ALL woman are like this! The managers that I work under have double standards one set of rules for themselves and another for everyone else...when they are having a bad day or in a 'mood' they take it out on everyone else...they're just not as laid back as male managers. Perfect example of the post by 'Woman' below just look at her reaction...thats exactly what female managers are like! Sorry but I would rather have a male manager anyday!
I don't know about this study. My own experience is no & possibly yes, very bitchy and they take things personally. I find women get quite hysterical in confrontational situation whereas men can keep their emotions under check a lot better. Older women make better bosses than younger women because they think more like's true.
What are you talking about? 'The power goes to their heads'?? 'Men are able to deal with others more fairly'? It's because of people with shallow views like you that there is still inequality in the work place. I would say that there are more men on 'power trips' as you put it than woman not to mention that yes, men can still be bitchy. I think, disregarding stereyotypes, that it depends on the person and their attitude to work and leadership that affects their working ability. There are both men and women in the work place who might be unable to handle the responsibility but to say that 'men are accustomed to being bosses and take it in their stride' is actually ridiculous. Perhaps women make better bosses because they don't jump to such ridiculous conclusions.