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Future of Work

A landmark new analysis of almost a quarter of a million unique psychometric assessments has finally revealed why women may be better bosses than men.

Investigating growing evidence that female managers outperform their male counterparts in several key metrics1, workplace wellbeing experts at Robertson Cooper have crunched the numbers on 210,934 individual responses contained within one of the single biggest personality research datasets in the UK2.

Led by renowned wellbeing academics Prof. Sir Cary Cooper CBE and Prof. Ivan Robertson, the Robertson Cooper’s research and whitepaper involved a close look at the crucial role of managers when it comes to embedding health and wellbeing inside businesses. The analysis found that women have more of the personality facets known to be responsible for creating improved wellbeing at work3 and, as managers, are better equipped to deliver the positive work experience for employees that’s proven to drive creativity and productivity in the workplace.

Robertson Cooper’s research also uncovered a fresh twist on the women-versus-men managerial debate, noting that age adds a further dimension to female managers’ capacity to enable more good days at work for their direct reports.

“The secret to these findings lies within the personality trait of Conscientiousness,” explains Prof. Robertson. “Managers with this trait tend to display a strong sense of duty and a realistic sense of their own competence plus a desire for personal achievement. The research shows that this personality make-up helps employees enjoy a better work-life balance.

“This new piece of research at Robertson Cooper shows that women, particularly older women in the 55 to 64 age range, are most likely to show this kind of personality, while younger men aged 25 to 29 are least likely to.”

“So the headline is true: for their teams, female bosses, especially older female bosses, really are likely to create more good days at work than their male colleagues – and now we know why.”

·       In 2018 women were 23.7% of those employed as Chief Executives and Senior Officials.27    In the same year, women were 37.0% of those employed as Functional Managers and Directors.28
·       The percentage of women aged 50-64 who are in the top 10% of earners for their age group is 28%.  The top 10% of earners are likely to be the leaders in an organisation⁴

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