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Decision-Making Styles of Women vs. Men
"The Art of the Decision" by Janet Guyon, Fortune, Nov. 14, 2005, p.
"Hall of Fame" by Eugenia Levenson, Fortune, Nov. 14, 2005, p. 167
A special issue of Fortune
saluted women in business. Women are widely respected for being better than men
at using intuition for decision making, i.e., "woman's intuition."
The article by Janet Guyon highlighted her observations of the
differences between women and men CEOs:
- Men love to lecture; women like to listen.
- Men are more likely to act alone, apt to blame others;
Women collaborate, listen, and build teams.
- Men are more focused on long-term results, women on
- Men put more weight on the how the decision will affect
the competitive environment; women consider how it will affect the team.
- Men exercise their decision making power, if they have
it. Women want to work through people, even if they have the
- Men are more-likely blindsided by a crisis, where women
will more often see the crisis looming (e.g., a woman anticipated the
- Men think men are better at problem-solving or
decision-making. Women think women are better at both. However, if the
job is in general management, both sexes think men are better decision
makers. The exception is in "female" jobs, such as human resources.
Stacey Blanchard, CEO of executive leadership consulting firm
Hagberg Consulting, surveyed 296 corporate leaders (57% of her sample were
women) and found that women scored higher on 36 of 47 management competencies.
Concludes Ilene Lang of Catalyst, "Women are perceived to be poorer problem
solvers than men, even though in reality that's probably not the case."
Also in the same Fortune article, Eugenia Levenson
reports some interesting statistics about women and business. Most
(Total return, from Jan 1 to Oct 17, 2005)
Women CEOs' Average: -14.8%
S&P 500 Index: -0.4%
Ouch! In fairness, however, the time period
is too short and the list is too small (top 8 women CEOs only) to draw any
—John Schuyler, Nov. 2005.
Copyright © 2005 by John R. Schuyler. All rights reserved. Permission to copy
with reproduction of this notice.