‘Give women a fair chance to lead’ urge psychology experts

 ‘Give women a fair chance to lead’ urge psychology experts

By Adam McCulloch

Those women who succeed in gaining promotion to the top jobs usually exhibit decision-making styles mirroring those of men, the data reveals.

New research by business psychology specialist The Myers-Briggs Company has found that more than two-thirds (70%) of women in leadership roles use the so-called “thinking” preference to make decisions at work, a preference that is more often associated with men.

The shortfall of women in top roles is highlighted as a main reason for the stubborn gender pay gap.

Women, according to data gleaned by Myers-Briggs from its personality type tests, are more likely to be associated with the “feeling” preference, which the research authors characterise as a value-driven and more rounded approach to decision-making. The thinking preference, by contrast, deploys objectivity, logic and impersonal criteria to make decisions.

However for women who reach more senior positions, the thinking preference dominates. While women are over-represented among lower quartiles of employee levels, more than half (55%) had a thinking preference, the research found.

This would indicate that when women reach higher levels of organisations, a values-driven perspective is lacking in leadership. Roughly equal proportions of men at all occupation levels use thinking and feeling preferences.

The onset of gender pay gap reporting, said John Hackston, head of thought leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company, had helped cast fresh light on the hierarchy of leadership styles: “It has highlighted deep-rooted issues that hinder progress,” he said. “To bridge the gap, businesses must fight against leadership stereotypes that affects their workforce and give women a fair chance to lead.”

He added that people exhibiting a preference for feeling-derived decisions – particularly women – “struggle to be promoted to senior positions”. Men were far more likely to reach a higher occupational level regardless of their personality preference, he said. “Women who display these tendencies are less likely to reach senior positions. It’s likely that stereotypes about gender and leadership play a big part in this.”

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Originally Posted On PersonnelToday

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