We often read there are not enough women represented on boards and in senior management positions!

SHL, providers of psychometric testing, report that while the supply of leadership potential across 25 countries is actually slightly in favour of women, the gender difference in senior positions globally is a staggering 76% in favour of men.



This is usually blamed on a preference for men and a male dominated culture making it difficult for women to “break through the glass ceiling”.  Yet we also know that boards and executive teams actively try to enrol women to get a gender balance and struggle to get the candidates and level of interest.


SHL’s research found stark differences in critical motivational factors between senior men and women that may be preventing women from progressing to the top.  They found:

- men in leadership positions are motivated by power and fear of failure,
- women are motivated more by a constructive working atmosphere and receiving recognition.

They argue there needs to be a change to corporate culture so more women are keen to continue their career path to the top.

A move away from an organisational culture framed by fear of failure to one founded on recognition for contribution and a collegial environment will be a stronger attraction for potential female leaders.

by Judy Fanselow

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