Are Women Better-Suited Than Men to Lead Strategies of Innovation?
Has the organizational culture in some high-tech companies favored women to be in leadership?
Five technology sector companies in the Fortune 500 have a woman in the top role, now that Yahoo has brought in Marissa Mayer as CEO. Consumer products companies are next highest with four companies having a woman at the helm. Two healthcare companies in the Fortune 500 have a woman CEO.
It’s surprising that an industry that has been labeled as a boy’s club would have five of the 20 female CEOs in the Fortune 500; and two of the five women are at a company in the Silicon Valley!
But, it’s not surprising if you look at the kind of culture that these companies have.
The culture is one of innovation, where risk-taking and openness to ideas lead to the creation of new products, new markets, new customers, and new opportunities. Women may indeed be poised to effectively lead in this type of culture, and studies indicate that they are more likely than men to have the type of competencies needed.
Female leaders have shown strength in inspiring and engaging others, bringing people together to rally around a common goal. They have more frequently demonstrated the ability to integrate and translate complex information into an understandable story. They are willing to take smart risks and “step up to the plate” to promote the company’s strategy. They influence others inside and outside the company to buy into the company’s vision.
We may see more companies – companies that are serious about pursuing a culture of innovation – select a woman as their CEO.