A new study has shown that women really do score higher than men when it comes to emotional intelligence in the workplace, proving that more women need to pursue leadership roles. In 11 out of 12 experiments, lead by the Korn Ferry Hay Group in the US, women consistently outperformed their male counterpart when it came to their emotional intelligence competency. However, the one area that gender had no role to play was in ’emotional self-control’ where both men and women performed the same.
“Historically in the workplace, there has been a tendency for women to self-evaluate themselves as less competent, while men tend to overrate themselves in their competencies,” said Richard E. Boyatzis, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, Case Western Reserve University. “Research shows, however, that the reality is often the opposite. If more men acted like women in employing their emotional and social competencies, they would be substantially and distinctly more effective in their work.”
Confirming what many already believed to be true, the research team analysed data from 55,000 professionals across 90 countries and all levels of management, collected between the years of 2011 and 2015. They examined this data using the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI), developed and co-owned by Boyatzis, Daniel Goleman and Hay Group only to find that ”women more effectively employ the emotional and social competencies correlated with effective leadership and management than men.”
As per Hay Group’s website, here’s exactly what they found:
- “The greatest difference between men and women can be seen in emotional self-awareness, where women are 86% more likely than men to be seen as using the competency consistently (18.4% of women demonstrate the competency consistently compared to just 9.9% of men).
- Women are 45% more likely than men to be seen as demonstrating empathy consistently.
- The smallest margin of difference is seen in positive outlook. When it comes to this emotional intelligence competency, women are only 9% more likely to exhibit the competency consistently than men.
- Other competencies in which women outperform men are coaching & mentoring, influence, inspirational leadership, conflict management, organisational awareness, adaptability, teamwork and achievement orientation.
- Emotional self-control is the only competency in which men and women showed equal performance.”
“The data suggests a strong need for more women in the workforce to take on leadership roles. When you factor in the correlation between high emotional intelligence and those leaders who deliver better business results, there is a strong case for gender equity. Organisations must find ways to identify women who score highly on these competencies and empower them,”explains Goleman, Co-Director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organisations at Rutgers University.
Preaching to the choir here.