Why Women Will Lead the Future


Although only one in three (33 percent) workers in the United States currently have a woman for a boss, employees who work for a woman are more engaged than those who work for male managers.

Not surprisingly, female managers are themselves good role models for engagement. The Gallup study found that 41 percent of female managers are engaged at work, compared with 35 percent of male managers. In fact, female managers of all generations are more engaged than their male counterparts. The implications of these findings have meaningful consequences for the workplace.

More highly engaged female managers are more likely to contribute to their organization's current and future success. According to Gallup's research, at least 70 percent of employees' engagement is attributable to their managers. If women are more engaged than male managers, their higher engagement levels probably result in more engaged, higher-performing workgroups.

Overall, workers who report to a female manager are more engaged, on average, than those who work for a male manager (33 percent versus 27 percent). Female employees who work for female managers are the most engaged, at 35 percent, while male employees who report to male managers are the least engaged (25 percent).

Actually, similar to the Zenger-Folkman results we reported two and a half years ago, employees of female managers outscored employees of male managers in the majority of areas (11 of 12 engagement Items).

Gallup found that employees who work for female managers are 1.26 times more likely than employees who work for male managers to strongly agree, "There is someone at work who encourages my development". These data powerfully suggest female managers are better than their male counterparts in developing the potential in others and helping their employees to succeed.

With higher graduation rates, the number of women leaders is on the rise. This increase with these results from Gallup bode well for organizations having better leadership, as we move into the future. Though we are still dealing with relatively low engagement scores overall (a maximum of 35 percent), it is clear that once again, women outshined men as leaders. When considering whom to name manager, enlightened corporate leaders will take into account the enhanced engagement abilities of female bosses. ###

Special thanks to Kimberly Fitch, PhD, a Client Service Manager, and Sangeeta Agrawal, Workplace Research Manager, both at Gallup, who wrote about the study in the Business Journal


Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia CSP, a Strategic Business Futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and professional speaker.


Joyce Gioia is a Strategic Business Futurist concentrating on workforce and workplace trends. Joyce is President and CEO of The Herman Group, a firm serving a wide range corporate, trade association and governmental clients on an international basis.

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