7 Super Smart Studies On Women Leadership in The Workplace

Our inbox at Take The Lead is filled with studies, stats, opinions, essays, features, books and all else downloadable about women in leadership, women working, women in power and everything we have hunt for in the pursuit of all things regarding women’s leadership.We are periodically collecting the stand-outs for one post featuring the latest news that made us gasp, chuckle, applaud, grimace or sigh. We know you will want to explore and share each one of these below. In keeping with Take the Lead’s 4 Keys to Parity for Women to help you prepare, develop, inspire and propel forward in your career, here are some useful tools for your virtual backpack to accompany you on your journey.1. Androgyny wins? In China, defined male and female roles in the workplace are known as “tough woman” and “sensitive man.” We can see right away how that is problematic to gender stereotypes for women in leadership and so can the researchers. But the distinct views of how men and women in leadership operate are present nonetheless. Writing in Forbes about the findings from CEIBS Leadership Behavioral Laboratory,  Jean Lee and Enoch Li conclude that being seen as having qualities somewhere right in the middle with assigned roles as traditionally male or a female is optimal. (Even though we get it that this right away is a problem.) “Androgyny is strongly related to transformational leadership. For both men and women leaders to be their true selves, they must embrace both their soft and hard sides, while maintaining the flexibility to react differently depending on the gender identities of employees. At the same time, a move towards androgyny can also ease women’s role incongruity problem when they are in leadership roles.” 2. We’re all in this together. Lindsay Pattison writes in The Guardian about creating equity in the workplace up to the very top, to the CEO level, where women still have 24 percent presence. But no one is saying the boys in the boys club are all bad. No. She writes:  “This is about everyone having an equal chance. The aim with any equality initiative shouldn’t be to create an undue advantage for women, but simply to remove barriers to a level playing field. Nobody would want to be promoted just because they are female. This isn’t about declaring war on men, quite the opposite. It’s about amplifying female talent while they stand side by side with their male colleagues to drive business success together, equally.”[bctt tweet=“The aim with any equality initiative should be to simply remove barriers to a level playing field.”]3. Making less than the Ms. can be scary. Dan Cassino, associate professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University, writes in Harvard Business Review that recent research about male and female roles, and specifically a poll asking men how they feel about women making more money than them, was very revealing, they freaked. Cassino writes: “While there is still a dominant group of behaviors that society considers appropriately masculine — what researchers call “hegemonic” masculinity — there are increasingly other ways for men to ‘do’ masculinity. In the household that may mean redefining masculinity to include being a good father or a great cook. In politics it may mean advocating for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. It’s not yet clear what these alternative masculinities will look like in the workplace. Perhaps focusing more energy on mentorship or technical skills would give men ways to express their masculinity without excluding or harassing women, creating a workplace that’s healthier for everyone.”4. Awesome recruiters build awesome teams. Mollie West of Ideo, writes in FastCoDesign that to create a culture of innovation, the team building has to be innovative. She writes about Airbnb’s Jill Riopelle, head of recruiting. West writes: “She used a design technique called journey mapping to gain empathy for the candidates going through Airbnb’s job application process. She hosted a brainstorming session in the Airbnb lunch room, and asked Airbnb employees to reflect on their own best and worst hiring moments. Next, they brainstormed how they wanted applicants to feel at each point and mapped out the ideal process for both the applicant and the hiring team. Based on these ideas for an “ideal process” Airbnb made the communication process with applicants more high touch (applicants get more updates, and aren’t wondering when the company will respond). When applicants first apply, they receive a warm acknowledgement message via email. The email “outlines next steps and suggests what candidates could do in the interim (watch company culture videos, read our FAQs, and more).” Airbnb started offering rejected applicants a chance to get feedback on the phone, which helps applicants stay positive toward the company, even if they didn’t get a job. The result? The company has more people applying a second time around, but with more experience and understanding of which roles would be right for them. It’s as if the recruiter is offering an olive branch, or playing the role of a coach or therapist.”5. Venture capitalists are not that adventurous on hiring women at the top but women tend to fund women. In the first ever comprehensive study of women at all levels working in venture capital, A Crunch Base study, Women in Venture, looked at the top 100 firms globally and crunched the numbers, writes Gene Teare and Ned Desmond in TechCrunch:  “Once we carefully reviewed the data for the top 100 venture firms, we discovered that 7 percent of the partners, or 53 of 764, are women, and 38 percent of the top 100 firms have at least one female partner. Twenty-eight firms have one, while seven have two. “ Also curious or maybe not so curious is “17 percent of seed rounds and 15 percent of seed dollars globally between 2010 and 2015 went to startups with at least one woman founder.” They add, “here is scant evidence yet to suggest that on an industry-wide basis firms with a female partner are more likely to invest in startups with a female founder. There is clear evidence, however, that the small number of venture firms with female founders and/or an unusually high percentage of female partners, invest at elevated levels in female entrepreneurs.”6. The only way down is out. Sava Berhane writes in Fast Company that the glass cliff for women and minorities is real, according to recent research from Utah State University. “This tells us that not only do women and minorities have a disproportionately harder time moving up the talent pipeline in the first place, they also get riskier leadership opportunities when they get there. So how do you avoid the glass cliff in an otherwise great promotion offer? By staying vigilant, even when you’ve reached the top.” She suggests that you be self-aware, know what to expect and know who you are dealing with.7. What’s your major? Business Insider charts 17 college degrees and the gender gap prevalent in all of them, noting that the top three earning degrees are medicine, economics and language/literature. “Average raw earnings for female university graduates are much less than men who study the same subjects, a study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows. The best-paying degree for women and men is medicine, perhaps because it usually leads to a very specific, highly skilled and highly paid profession. While the top 10 female earners who studied economics earned more than those who did medicine, the latter had a higher median average, making it a great subject to study.” The lowest on the payscale are creative arts, communications and architecture.