Women are ‘better leaders in recession’

11 Jan

The female tendency to take fewer risks makes women stronger leaders during tough economic conditions, according to research by occupational psychologists Geoff Trickey and So Yi Yeung.

The study of 2000 workers in 20 occupations found that men are twice as likely to take risks, and women are twice as likely to be careful. The findings suggested that risk-taking was a “distinctive feature” of gender, and could help explain the difference in leadership styles between men and women. The more cautious approach taken by women is therefore more effective during recession, said the researchers.

These different approaches to risk stem from the evolution of the species and the need to survive, but in the modern workplace this translates into having a balance of the adventurous and carefree with the wary and prudent – regardless of their gender.  Trickey added: “Risk taking is necessary and desirable, but we need to reinstate the balance that ensured the survival of our ancestors. Whether this is best done by gender selection manipulation is arguable, but the aim should be to achieve a balance of risk types.”

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