The results of a 2011 survey by business and leadership consultants Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman reveal unequivocally that women outperform men.
From general business effectiveness to initiative taking — typically viewed as a more “male” trait — to strategic planning acumen and several categories in between, females dominated all areas of the study, including those where they historically ranked weaker.
Click here for the Zenger Folkman survey in detail. Unfortunately, full access to these findings will cost you.
What did Zenger and Folkman have to say about the legal profession? Surely this bastion of male dominance, cigar smoke-filled plush corner offices, country club tee times and sports analogies ad nauseam couldn’t possibly succumb — even a little — to the increasing power of women in the workplace, right?
Well, think again.
The study, which is further delineated in a Harvard Business Review blog post, shows women also outperformed men in the legal sector. More specifically, women ranked higher in several leadership benchmarks and overall were rated more effective by almost 5 percentage points.
Finally, Vivia Chen, chief blogger for The Careerists, a lawjobs.com blog, doesn’t doubt the validity of the Zenger Folkman study but questions why, given the obvious gains women have made in the male-dominated business world, more women are not in positions of power in law firms. The answer, Chen writes, is simply that women aren’t being picked for top leadership posts by the men currently in power.