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8 Key Differences Between Female vs Male Leadership Qualities

“Men make better leaders than women” -a common sentence that you will hear a lot of people say; a sentence that holds no real meaning. Most people believe men make better leaders because only men have dominated the leadership space for centuries. However, many stark differences between women vs men’s leadership qualities say otherwise. 

When drawing comparisons, one needs to understand the general psyche of men and women. Next, one needs to assess the ground realities and then draw comparisons between famous male and famous women leaders. That being said, both genders can make great leaders if they are both given an equal opportunity to succeed. Structural barriers often hinder women and prevent them from reaching their full potential, but more on that later. 

What Are the Main Differences Between Women’s and Men’s Leadership?

  • Women have cooperative; men have command and control style
  • Women are compassionate; men are strict
  • Women lean on EQ; men on IQ
  • Women make transformational; men make inclusive leaders
  • Women influence; men coach
  • Women prioritize; men prioritize experience
  • Women trust instinct; men trust data
  • Women cater to emotions; men cater to reasoning

People can differ on many fronts. Men can have leadership qualities like compassion and empathy that are usually associated with female leaders. Similarly, women can have qualities like a command and control style that is generally associated with male leaders. But on average, here are the main differences between women’s and men’s leadership styles. 

1. Women Have Cooperative, Men Have Command and Control Style

Women are generally cooperative; when they become leaders, they continue to follow a democratic leadership style where they take into account the opinions of others. This is not to say that women can not take control and take their own decisions. This is to say that women discuss and debate the issues with their team members or associates and then take decisions. 

On the other hand, men have a more command and control leadership style. Rather than discussing their plans with others, they expect others to simply follow orders. Even when a crisis hits, men are more likely to take immediate action rather than first discussing and debating the issue. 

2. Women Are Compassionate; Men Are Strict

Once believed to be a stereotype, the notion of women leaders showing more compassion than men is proven true. In most corporations and organizations, men are seen to be more stern and strict with their employees. They are also less forgiving when their employees make mistakes. 

On the other hand, women show compassion and empathy. They are also able to relate well to the problems of their employees and thus offer solutions where necessary. 

Also Read: 13 Key Differences Between Team Lead and Manager

3. Women Lean On EQ; Men on IQ

Emotional Intelligence(EQ) is an important component that helps leaders. It allows leaders to understand the rationale behind people’s actions and then take decisions accordingly. Additionally, having a good EQ allows individuals to use, manage and control their own emotions well, so they can take rational decisions. 

Men generally score low on EQ and are known to focus more on developing a higher Intelligence quotient. Their focus is mostly on STEM studies. They use data and objective research to drive a conclusion. Moreover, since they score relatively low on EQ, they are less likely to control their own emotions in times of crisis. 

4. Women Make Transformational; Men Make Inclusive Leaders

Women have been marginalized for a long time. Even the most privileged women have faced the brunt of the patriarchal world. Other, less privileged women, have faced discrimination, prejudice, and abuse because of the highly patriarchal world. This is why most feminist leaders lead to making the status quo better; they mostly adopt a transformational style of leadership. 

Men usually make inclusive leaders. They value a person’s credentials more than they value the person’s gender, religion, or ethnicity. This is why great leaders of the past such as Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and Jinnah ensured an inclusive environment in the societies they led. 

5. Women Influence; Men Coach

Women generally have a countenance that impresses and inspires others. Even without trying, you will see women influencing a range of other individuals. Moreover, since there are so many women who reach leadership positions, the few ones that do, end up becoming trendsetters for the rest of the community. 

On the other hand, men become greater mentors and coaches. Rather than using words to communicate their ideas, they would rather spend time with their associates and team members and give them in-house training. Moreover, men are likely to take coaching as a challenge and give it their all when helping others. 

6. Women Prioritize Potential; Men Prioritize Experience

This is another stark difference between men and women. When both genders assess CVs or resumes, the former will prioritize people who come with a lot of experience. The latter would look for potential. This is why women are more likely to give jobs to people who may lack experience but show a lot of potentials. 

Moreover, men are less likely to give second chances to their employees. On the other hand, women are more empathetic and give second chances easily. They trust their decisions and are likely to give time to an individual to show their full potential. 

7. Women Trust Instinct; Men Trust Data

There is no conclusive evidence that suggests that trusting data is necessarily better than trusting one’s instincts and vice versa. Women are less likely to trust or give much importance to data or market trends. They trust their gut feeling and value their instincts above what data suggests. 

On the other hand, men are wired differently. They are very particular about data and value objective realities more than subjective truths. This is why men are more likely to rely on data when they are making decisions. 

Also Read: Why leaders bad decisions? Untangling the mystery.

8. Women Cater to Emotions; Men Cater to Reasoning

Some companies rely on their leaders to understand the psyche of their customers. Other corporations demand leaders that can think long-term and make rational decisions for the company. Women work better in the former; men in the latter. 

Women are better at understanding individuals and the psyche of particular communities. They can make valuable assertions about the behavior of clients. On the other hand, men can look at the broader picture and draw valuable conclusions about the progress of the company. 

Male vs Female Leadership Advantages and Disadvantages

Male vs Female Leadership
Male LeadershipFemale Leadership
Advantages1) Male leaders are more rational
2) Male leaders are result-oriented
3) Male leaders can communicate vision of the company well
4) Prioritize competitiveness and work to get company strategic advantage
5) Are able to take necessary risks 
1) Female leaders are more compassionate
2) Female leaders are more empathetic
3) Female leaders can communicate values of an organization well
4) Prioritize well-being of employees
5) Create safer environment for employees
Disadvantages1) Men make fewer efforts to make their employees comfortable
2) Men find it difficult to accept mistakes
1) Women tend to give more value to their instinct than data
2) Hormonal changes and pregnancies can affect leadership

What Men Can Learn From Female Leaders?

1. Men Can Learn Empathy and Compassion

If we look at male leaders of the past, we see a lot of ruthlessness. This has set the wrong precedent for the world. If men want to make amends for historical injustices, they need to change course and learn the importance of empathy and compassion from female leaders like Jacinda Arden. 

2. Men Can Learn Resilience

Women grow in societies that are always ready to put them down. But despite all the hurdles society throws at them, women still survive. Men who give up easily can learn the importance of remaining steadfast in the face of danger. Resilient leaders, whether they are males or females, are the future.

3. Men Can Learn Communication Skills

Men are usually good at speaking. They also have good articulation skills. However, women take the lead when it comes to non-verbal communication. Leaders need to not only convince others of their plans, but also inspire others. This only happens when leaders can use both verbal and non-verbal cues to put their message across. 

4. Men Can Learn About Ground Realities

By having female leaders in their mix, men can learn humility and let go of their boastful attitudes. Most women have had extreme difficulty, and they have compromised a lot to reach a leadership position. Men can assess these women and make attempts to learn about the hurdles women face in society. They can then work to help improve the lives of other women in their mix. 

5. Men Can Learn the Importance of Diversity

When organizations have both male and female leaders, diversity and inclusivity grow. Men can learn from women and vice versa. Men can assess why some women can inspire greater change, and then inculcate those behaviors in their personalities. This will help improve the leadership attributes of males. 

Become an Effective Leader With the Best Diplomats

Become an Effective Leader With the Best Diplomats

When it comes to Best Diplomats, gender holds no importance. The training program is equally beneficial to both men and women. Moreover, the program is designed in a way that caters to the needs of both potential male and potential female leaders. 

Best Diplomats works on three main fronts and helps develop your leadership in 3 primary ways. For starters, it enhances your networking and allows you to meet individuals from more than 85 nations. Secondly, it gives you platforms to express your ideas and boost your confidence. 

Lastly, it widens your perspective and vision about the world and allows you to see a Birdseye view of the world. All these things help contribute to your personality and make you a force to be reckoned with. 


Leadership is primarily essential to improve the lives of individuals and make the status quo better for everyone. Leaders, whether they are male or female, need to have a clear vision of what they want to achieve. Whether they are working in the corporate sector or the non-profit sector, they need to value their team members and associates. Companies that value their employees and prioritize their well-being can create large businesses in no time. 


Does Gender Matter When It Comes to Leadership?

According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, most respondents believe that there are very slight differences between men and women leaders. Around 43% of people said that men and women are similar in their leadership characteristics. Around 57% said that there are meaningful differences. One key difference was that men were believed to be greater risk-takers and women were believed to create a friendlier environment for their employees. 

What Are the Structural Barriers to Women’s Leadership?

From an early age, women face a lot of structural barriers that prevent them from reaching top leadership positions. For starters, women have to face a society that has accepted preconceived notions of femininity. Women have to prove that they can become good leaders. Next, they have to fight patriarchal structures in the workplace to reach the top positions. 

Does Best Diplomats Support Feminist Leadership?

Best Diplomats goes to great lengths to ensure that it allows an equal number of male and female participants in its training programs. By ensuring diversity and inclusivity for both genders, Best Diplomats ensures that it can cater to the needs of both genders. Moreover, the program invites a plethora of influential women leaders of the world to these platforms. 

Are Men More Effective Than Women as Leaders?

According to Pew Research, men are more likely to take risks in businesses, which makes them successful in some ventures. However, according to most people, men and women have similar leadership qualities and do not differ in key aspects. That being said, men have been leaders throughout the century and most of them have proven to be effective in their roles.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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