Women Have The Skills Needed to be Managers

Take a look at any recent list of competencies that managers need and you will notice something strange. They include competencies that are high on emotional intelligence. The list will include empathy, listening, relationship building, etc.

Which is why the gap between the number of men and women managers is so confusing. There should be many more women managers than men. While it is a generalization, women tend to have the competencies needed to be great managers more naturally. When you include that teaching someone those key competencies is difficult, it makes sense that companies would look for people who have the skills naturally.

This hasn't happened recently, but in my career I've had interviewers ask me "are you ok working for a woman?" I always say "of course". In reality, I want to say "I prefer it".

As someone who has taught and coached hundreds of managers over the years, I can make one statement with confidence: If a man and a woman managerial candidate were equal in all the technical aspects, I would select the woman every time. I might even select the woman candidate if she is a bit less experienced than the man candidate.

I know I can teach the woman the technical skills needed to be a great manager. I am not as confident that I can teach a man the relationship-building skills that make a manager great.