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A very interesting study has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology very recently. [the reference appears at the end].

The study has been conducted by Kayla Sergent and Alexander D. Stajkovic and is titled Women’s leadership is associated with fewer deaths during the COVID-19 crisis: Quantitative and qualitative analyses of United States governors.

Leadership is important at all times, but it becomes critical at the times of crisis. COVID19 is the biggest crisis since World War II and has already caused a whole lot of physical, social, psychological and economic problems. There is no doubt that this crisis has affected everyone deeply and the changes will remain with us for long even after the crisis is over, whenever that happens.

The study referred to here is interesting as it compares the performance of Women Governors with Men Governors in various states of USA. We go to some excerpts from study below.

The Background

[quote] This literature prompted our research question: Do states in the United States with women governors have fewer COVID-19 deaths than states with men governors, and why? To examine this question, we used publicly available data and compared the number of reported deaths caused by COVID-19 among states in the United States. Because these data were archival, we examined gender with the information available, as a dichotomous biological sex variable. We found statistically significantly fewer deaths in states with women governors than in states with men governors. To provide insight into potential psychological mechanisms of this relationship, we conducted a qualitative analysis of governors’ COVID-19-related briefings. In comparison to men governors, women governors expressed more empathy and exuded greater confidence. [unquote]

The Finding (Abstract)

[quote] The coronavirus disease that emerged in 2019 (COVID-19) spotlights the need for effective leadership in a crisis. Leadership research in applied psychology suggests that women tend to be preferred over men as leaders during uncertain times. We contribute to this literature by examining, in the context of COVID-19, whether states with women governors had fewer deaths than states with men governors, and why. We tested this research question with publicly available data on COVID-19 deaths in the United States as of May 5, 2020 and found that states with women governors had fewer COVID-19 deaths compared to states with men governors. Governor sex also interacted with early stay-at-home orders; states with women governors who issued these orders early had fewer deaths compared to states with men governors who did the same. To provide insight into psychological mechanisms of this relationship, we conducted a qualitative analysis of governor briefings that took place between April 1, 2020 and May 5, 2020 (251 briefings, 38 governors, 1.2 million words). Compared to men, women governors expressed more empathy and confidence in their briefings. Practical implications are discussed. [unquote]

The Keywords here are ‘Empathy’ and Confidence’. These are not specific to women but are extremely relevant in the times of uncertainly. I believe these come naturally to women as integral part of motherhood.

Women have been underestimated in the workplaces all over the world. Much discussion is going on, but not enough action has been seen to change the situation. Several European countries have been making targets about having a certain percentage of C-suite positions filled with women but have missed these targets by wide margins. McKinsey’s has been following this subject and keeps publishing reports about progress periodically. I would like to cover this topic in more detail in the upcoming blogposts.

Some attributes have been seen to be common among women leaders. They are fair, resilient, empathetic and honest. Benazir Bhutto, during her first tenure as Prime Minister, tried to do some good, out-of-the-box things. An executive at Pakistan Institute of Management (PIM) told me that Benazir Bhutto asked PIM to arrange a two-days’ workshop for her cabinet members. It was arranged accordingly at the PM house. Benazir made it a point to attend most of it in order to add seriousness. It was a great initiative because most elected ministers have no clue about management. It was before she was engulfed by the monster of misdeeds unleashed by AZ. Political ideologies besides, Benazir Bhutto did have great potential which was largely undone by one bad decision by her family; her marriage to AZ.

Women must get better representation in the management cadre. There is plenty of evidence from all around the world that women perform better than men on several counts. Of course, there would be individual variations, but on an overall basis, women win hands down.

Amen to Women Power.


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