Most employers under-estimate women's leadership potential - and men benefit from that

The study says men benefit from the perception that women will grow into the role.

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LONDON: Employers tend to overlook women's leadership potential, while men benefit from the perception that they will grow into the role, says a study.

Researchers carried out two experimental studies that suggest that women have to demonstrate high performance in order to be hired to senior roles.

By contrast, having potential was valued more highly than performance output in men.


"There is much evidence that women are under-represented in leadership roles and this has social, cultural and organisational impact.

"Our research revealed an overlooked potential effect that exclusively benefits men and hinders women who pursue leadership positions," said Georgina Randsley de Moura, Professor at University of Kent in Britain.
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Nearly 300 participants took part in the two studies. In an organisation hiring simulation, participants were asked to view and rank the CVs of female and male candidates for a leadership role in a hypothetical organisation.
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The candidates were either described as having high potential or high past performance.

The findings, published in a journal Frontiers in Psychology, demonstrated that when faced with a choice, people consistently ranked male candidates with leadership potential as their first choice.

Workplace Diversity: Need Equality In The Boardrooms
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The world over, there has been a clamour for diversity in the workplace. In India too, the story is no different. And a lot of corporations have raised red flags over the abysmal representation of women in the boardroom. From treating women equally to women-specific policies, there are various points of view.

So what can bring about diversity?

The world over, there has been a clamour for diversity in the workplace. In India too, the story is no different. And a lot of corporations have raised red flags over the abysmal representation of ..
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Does workplace diversity happen when women are treated the same as the men, be it roles, responsibilities and accountability too? Is diversity a by-product of similar treatment to both genders?

Does workplace diversity happen when women are treated the same as the men, be it roles, responsibilities and accountability too? Is diversity a by-product of similar treatment to both genders?

Or is diversity best guaranteed when corporations put in place specific policies and procedures that ensure women don't lose their career trajectory when they take a break to set up home or start a family?

Or is diversity best guaranteed when corporations put in place specific policies and procedures that ensure women don't lose their career trajectory when they take a break to set up home or start a..
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Most companies today realise the aching need for having more women in the boardroom in order to improve diversity. They understand that they need more women in the corner offices as role models that will go on to encourage more to join the workforce.

Most companies today realise the aching need for having more women in the boardroom in order to improve diversity. They understand that they need more women in the corner offices as role models tha..
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Being a role model isn't easy, though. Most success stories show that women have had to make major sacrifices to reach the top. But young people want their role models to have it all - from an exciting career to a happy family life, wealth, fame and leisure.

Being a role model isn't easy, though. Most success stories show that women have had to make major sacrifices to reach the top. But young people want their role models to have it all - from an exci..
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Workplaces can become inclusive and level-playing fields when there is support and acknowledgement. Women, too, need to seize the day in a line of work they love and enjoy. Prioritising is critical, so is communicating one's needs. And don't be ashamed of asking for help. When the time comes, you can always pass that on.

Workplaces can become inclusive and level-playing fields when there is support and acknowledgement. Women, too, need to seize the day in a line of work they love and enjoy. Prioritising is critical..
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When it came to woman though, participants preferred past performance over potential, said the study.

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The research suggests that while women's past performance has to be at least as good as men's, women might be held to higher standards in selection processes because their leadership potential might be less likely to be recognised.
Jack Ma, Bezos, Travis Kalanick: Top Bosses Who Promoted Hostile Work Culture
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Being an industry leader is not child's play. Apart from taking one's business ahead and dealing with the complications that come along with it, inculcating a healthy work culture is also extremely important.

Recently, Alibaba Group boss Jack Ma received flak on social media for promoting a 12-hour-a-day and six-days-a-week work routine for success. However, he isn't the only one who, in an effort to be on the top, ended up promoting a hostile work culture.

Here's a look at some top bosses who haven't been appreciated for their leadership qualities.

(In pic from left: Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Travis Kalanick)

Being an industry leader is not child's play. Apart from taking one's business ahead and dealing with the complications that come along with it, inculcating a healthy work culture is also extremely i..
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Jack Ma recently faced flak for his blog post endorsing the tech industry's overtime culture.

The 54-year-old encouraged employees to embrace the overtime culture if they wished to flourish in the tech world. He was also known to dismiss people expecting a typical, eight-hours-a-day work routine.

Earlier, China's richest man said that people who can stick to a hectic schedule are the ones that have found their passion beyond monetary gains.

Jack Ma recently faced flak for his blog post endorsing the tech industry's overtime culture. The 54-year-old encouraged employees to embrace the overtime culture if they wished to flourish in the te..
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for his temper outbursts, and his 'rage firings' have often made headlines. The 47-year-old, whose employees have reported incidents of extreme yelling, allegedly fires any employee who comes his way on a bad-temper day.

Earlier this month, Musk reportedly pushed a former employee who was saying goodbye to colleagues after having resigned from the company.

In another example, it was reported last December that the auto giant's employees were asked not to walk past Musk's desk in case it ruined their career.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for his temper outbursts, and his 'rage firings' have often made headlines. The 47-year-old, whose employees have reported incidents of extreme yelling, allegedly fires a..
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is known for his cut-throat management style as much as he is known for being the world's richest man. The top boss doesn't mince his words, and the e-commerce giant has gained a reputation for having a ruthless work culture.

As a leader, the 55-year-old is reported to be a difficult-to-please boss - who is easy to agitate. Stories of his comments including, "I'm sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?" and "Why are you ruining my life?" have often made it out of Amazon's office.

Bezos has reportedly been this way from the start. In 1997, three years after launching the company, in a letter to the shareholders, he had revealed that while interviewing prospective employees he always tells them, “You can work long, hard, or smart, but at Amazon.com you can't choose two out of three.”

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is known for his cut-throat management style as much as he is known for being the world's richest man. The top boss doesn't mince his words, and the e-commerce giant has gained ..
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In 2017, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick was forced to exit from the company. The decision was made after he was accused of sexual harassment by an ex-employee, Susan Fowler. But Fowler's account of her time at the company was just a trigger that led to a chain of reactions including complaints of a ‘toxic bro culture’ at Uber.

Soon stories highlighting the unhealthy, sexist work culture that had flourished for years under Kalanick made headlines.

In 2017, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick was forced to exit from the company. The decision was made after he was accused of sexual harassment by an ex-employee, Susan Fowler. But Fowler's account of ..
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Uber's former Chief People Office Liane Hornsey was forced to leave the company in July last year on grounds of poor management of discrimination complaints filed within the company.

Ironically, Hornsey was Uber's spokesperson on diversity and discrimination. She was also accused of making derogatory comments against the global head of diversity and inclusion.

Uber's former Chief People Office Liane Hornsey was forced to leave the company in July last year on grounds of poor management of discrimination complaints filed within the company. Ironically, Horn..
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