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The Traits Successful Women Share

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Every wondered what personality traits the world’s most successful women share? Get ready to channel your inner Sheryl Sandberg because research has identified six characteristics that are associated with female leaders.

While there are more women in the workplace than ever before, and the pay gap is diminishing ever so slightly, the amount of women in top managerial positions makes for disappointing reading. When it comes to Fortune 500 only 2-3% of CEOs are women, with the figure being a more encouraging 26% across the rest of United States. It makes sense to see what makes these outliers succeed.

BusinessInsider.com reports that Caliper, a talent management consultancy firm, surveyed 85 women in senior vice president roles, and above, who manage ‘functional’ areas such as marketing, research and development and sales. After a personality test and surveys in 15 different performance areas, the following traits emerged. Are you ticking any of these boxes?

Assertiveness

Aggressiveness

Empathy

Ego-Strength

Stress Tolerance

Energy

The report concludes that the “personality traits of women leaders closely match what are universally considered to be “male leadership” traits. In general, these women are straightforward in their communications style, action-oriented, risk-takers, and are skilled at solving complex problems. Although these traits may have traditionally been considered to be “masculine,” we have found that they are, in fact, universal leadership traits that are embodied by successful women leaders as well as men.”

These same women scored low on traits that are seen to inhibit performance, such as External Structure, Thoroughness, and Cautiousness. Women who favour a “results- and action-oriented approach”, have “a straightforward and persuasive communication style” and show “strength in recognizing patterns in data and solving problems” are the type who tend to climb ranks. They also saw their weakest performance area as “coping with the realities of organizational politics.”

When it came to barriers women leaders face, guilt for not spending enough time with family and a lack of support in the home ranked high. Intriguingly, the so-called ‘old boys’ network wasn’t seen by many as holding one back.

What do you think? It seems Jessie J’s Do It Like A Dude maxim ought to become our soundtrack to promotion.

Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun

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