The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
TRANSCRIPTS
Return to Transcripts main page

LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Do Women Make Better Bosses?

Aired August 12, 2003 - 20:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Your boss's managerial style may have a lot to do with gender. A new study indicates that women bosses are more likely than men to inspire their staffs and they don't fit some movie stereotypes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIGOURNEY WEAVER, "WORKING GIRL": A few ground rules. The way I look at it, you are my link of the outside world. People's impression of me starts with you. You're tough when it's warranted, accommodating when you can be, you're accurate, punctual and never make a promise you can't keep. I'm never on another line, I'm in a meeting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Sigourney Weaver's character in "Working Girl" may have missed the memo, but a study published in the current issue of "Psychological Bulletin" says that women, in general, make better bosses than men. Now the challenge may be to convince everyone else.

The lead author of the study is Professor Alice Eagly at Northwestern University. She's joining us from our bureau in Chicago.

Here in New York with me, we have Dottie Herman, the CEO, of Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Thanks to both of you for joining us.

First of all, we went out on the street, asked some people what they though -- who makes a better boss, men or women?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think men do because they're not as emotionally involved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My boss is a man and he can't relate as well and people think he comes off as a tyrant or a little bit mean.

(END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Management styles are either good or bad, regardless of the gender of a boss.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Dr. Eagly, is this what you expected to hear from a random sampling of people on the street?

PROF. ALICE EAGLY, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: Well, when you ask people in general about male and female bosses, they will indicate a preference for men. There's more or less of a male prototype of leadership because we see so many more men in leadership roles.

BLITZER: Well what -- how did you come up with this research, this conclusion that women are actually better bosses than men?

EAGLY: My project is a meta-analysis. We looked for all the available research that had compared men and women in terms of these kinds of leadership style. So it's general conclusion about men and women on the average.

So we found that women tend to have a somewhat more encouraging style. That is, they look for the best in workers, and they try to inspire them to go beyond the role. Try to nurture them, in a sense.

BLITZER: Let's put up on the screen, some of your conclusions, why women may be better bosses than men. Among the executive style approaches, that are more typical of women, you conclude they're more like a good teacher or a coach, they nurture their staff, they inspire the staff, they foster innovation and teamwork, they reward and praise positive work. All those elements are important in today's management style?

EAGLY: Yes. Other research has shown that those ways of leading tend to be positively leading to effectiveness, that do tend to make organizations better, so that they work in a sense.

BLITZER: In contrast, you conclude that men have a different style. Some of the conclusions you have -- you say men basically appeal to staff's self-interest, they look more closely at flaws in performance and they wait longer to address problems. That doesn't sound very good for men, does it, Dr. Eagly?

EAGLY: Well, I think they're just average differences, of course, small, average differences. But we do find that men do show those characteristics somewhat more than women do in -- who are in managerial roles.

BLITZER: Let's speak to a woman in a very high profile management role. Dottie Herman, you're on the cover of "New York" magazine. That's pretty thrilling to be on the cover of "New York" magazine. What do you think about this study?

DOTTIE HERMAN, CEO, PRUDENTIAL DOUGLAS ELLIMAN: I think there's some validity to it. I've worked under some great men. I've worked for some great men and worked some great women. But I definitely think there's a -- usually a bit of a difference in style

BLITZER: Do you think woman are more nurturing to their subordinates? Are you more nurturing than your male counterpart, For example?

HERMAN: Absolutely. I'm very nurturing, I don't believe in fear, I believe in bringing the best out of people.

BLITZER: Who inspired you in terms of learning how to be a manager?

HERMAN: I learned -- I took a lot of good things and maybe some not so good things I saw from people I worked under.

BLITZER: Were they men or women?

HERMAN: Both. I worked under some great men. I worked under some wonderful women, and also some not so wonderful people. So I learned, and I did a lot of reading about companies and what makes great companies. And part of it's just who I am, though, also.

BLITZER: You think your study is going to have any significant impact on that glass ceiling out there, Dr. Eagly. We did some research. Only 6 percent of Fortune 500 top jobs, senior vice president, above right now are women.

EAGLY: Yes, I think it will, because what we're showing women who are managers, they are doing well, at least as well as men and perhaps somewhat better. So we hope that this gives people a reason to consider women for important leadership roles, because the research suggests that on the average, they're doing very well. So we hope it will.

BLITZER: Professor Eagly, thanks very much. Dottie Herman, thanks to you as well.

HERMAN: Thank you.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.