Proof: Women Are Better Leaders than Men

In the Harvard Business Review, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman release the results of their study on men, women, and leadership.

In the confirmation category is our first finding: The majority of leaders (64%) are still men. And the higher the level, the more men there are: In this group, 78% of top managers were men, 67% at the next level down (that is, senior executives reporting directly to the top managers), 60% at the manager level below that.

Similarly, most stereotypes would have us believe that female leaders excel at “nurturing” competencies such as developing others and building relationships, and many might put exhibiting integrity and engaging in self-development in that category as well. And in all four cases our data concurred — women did score higher than men.

But the women’s advantages were not at all confined to traditionally women’s strengths. In fact at every level, more women were rated by their peers, their bosses, their direct reports, and their other associates as better overall leaders than their male counterparts — and the higher the level, the wider that gap grows:

Read the rest: Are Women Better Leaders than Men? – Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman – Harvard Business Review.

I realize there’s a glass ceiling in business because of the “old boys’ club.” But we should be able to quickly counteract this trend in the church. Why, then, does the gender make-up of the church so heavily favor men in leadership?!?

HT: Michael Toy

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  • Larry Barber

    This hardly constitutes proof that women are better leaders. Since there still artificial barriers to women in leadership roles it is reasonable to assume that only the very best women are filling these roles. A better comparison would be to compare the best men (say the top decile or so) against the a similar number of the best women, rather than just a comparison between the gross populations.

    As far as the church goes, the leadership continues to be largely men because of historical inertia, bad theology in a lot of churches, and the fact that there are not as many women as men studying theology. If you require a some kind of theology degree or an M.Div. for a leadership position in the church you are going to be drawing your leaders from a pool that is predominately male.

    • Evelyn

      Hah. Hah. If I had a dime for every woman in our church who has a seminary degree but not a paid position in the church …

      • Not only that, women pastors are more educated yet paid less.

        “More than three-quarters of female pastors (77%) have a seminary degree. Among male pastors less than two-thirds (63%) can make that same claim.”

        “The average package for female pastors in 2009 is $45,300. The median compensation for male pastors is $48,600.”

        Source: Barna (

        It most definitely NOT about the availability of highly qualified female pastors. Male privilege, sexism, and patriarchy (supported by heaps of bad theology) more easily explain the disparity.

      • Larry Barber

        There are a lot of men with seminary degrees that aren’t employed by the church, too. It doesn’t change that fact that most seminary students and graduates are men, even in those denominations that a long history of treating women equally.

  • Jay

    And now for some extremely inappropriate comments from are Neo-Reformed brothers and sisters!

  • Evelyn
  • Perhaps the ways of doing church are flawed. I am so sad to see women still often held down, and wonder what other models are out there and how they could be developed.

  • Chris

    This is just more proof that women are better people than men.

  • Bobby

    These discussions are so pointless. Which gender is better at leadership? Here’s a thought: some men are better leaders, and some women are better leaders. From working at a shoe store to a church to a bank, the list of best supervisors/bosses I’ve had contains both men and women.