Leslie Grossman, Founder, Circle Leadership
The number of women managers ditching the workplace in 2020-2021 has been dismal. America’s greatest migration is the number of women who have left managerial roles. According to the analysis of the Women’s Law Center, 2.1 million women left their jobs in 2020, primarily due to the childcare crisis. As we move into 2021, the likelihood of women returning at the same rate to equal or higher positions is low.
This should be a cause of great concern to companies – large and small. There’s one important reason: women rock as leaders. This was revealed in the article “Research: Women Are Better Leaders During a Crisis” published in the Harvard Business Review earlier this year. A study by Zenger/Folkman evaluating 60,000 managers came to a definitive conclusion: Women are more effective leaders than men.
‘Women were rated more positively on 13 of the 19 competencies in our assessment that comprise overall leadership effectiveness. Among the 13 competencies on which women were rated higher were “takes initiative”, “inspires and motivates others”, “communicates powerfully and prolifically”. “Men were rated more positively on one competency — technical/professional expertise — but the difference was not statistically significant,” according to Jack Zenger, co-founder of Zenger/Folkman, a strengths-based leadership development firm, which performed the research.
Prior to the pandemic, almost half the workforce was women, yet only about one-third held management positions (Catalyst). “Companies need to take advantage of the proven leadership skills of women if they want to grow in the next decade,” according to Leslie Grossman, founder of Circle Leadership, a leadership development company for women leaders, HR professionals and executive coaches.
While a recent MetLife survey of 2000 workers showed 2 out of 3 women plan to return to work, women will be returning with raised expectations. Women say they plan to return to companies that give them more flexibility, more opportunities for career advancement, economic incentives, improved benefits and more development programs.
“While women excel in leadership skills, most will return to workplaces which continue to be dominated by gender bias, closed networks and male power patterns,” says Grossman. “To attract and retain women leaders companies need to break down silos, recognize and reward women equally, and create sponsorship opportunities. Most important companies must provide coaching and training for women to navigate workplace challenges and for men to become aware of the roadblocks for women and how they can play a role in ensuring change that benefits the organization exponentially.”
About the Author: Leslie Grossman is founder of Circle Leadership, a training company for executive coaches and HR professionals to provide breakthrough leadership skills to women. Circle Leadership offers advanced training in women’s leadership to qualified professionals who support women leaders in navigating workplace challenges and reaching their career goals. Upon completion of the training, professionals will have proven tools to help women managers and entrepreneurs build confidence, manage gender bias and leadership challenges, and navigate a path to leadership success. For more information about Circle Leadership, contact Leslie@hercircleleadership.com, 646.235.9307.