To be competent: cheerfulness vs. Leadership of managers


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Cheerful women are not believed to have the will to lead - women with typical male characteristics are perceived as “real” bosses. The result of a research project by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is slightly exaggerated.

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Maike Dietz 97Maike Dietz is a career coach and HR consultant and has been with Daimler for more than 7 years.

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Show weakness - not allowed

Dominant. Enforcement Stark. Self confident. This is how leaders should be! Characteristics that are mainly attributed to men - women are generally regarded as communicative, socially and sensitively.

A roles image, which is still anchored in the minds of the decision-makers and makes the women's way to the top more difficult. And this is even more pronounced in women compared to female executives; because the study also showed that even women trust men more than their sex partners.

Back to the Future?

Results that are surprising in times of women's quota and decades after emancipation - or maybe not? Because let's be honest: our youth continues to grow up in stereotypical gender roles and later lives mostly after them.

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Although around 55 percent of first-year students are now female, with an upward trend, this lead then reverses to the opposite in professional life: in many households, women traditionally take a break from work after the birth of their children.

Rethinking in Company

Admittedly, there is a gradual change in the boardroom: men are more open with women in leadership positions, they are ready to rethink, question common prejudices and - give women a real chance.

Last but not least, the controversially discussed quota of women helps to push female high potential and to bring it to the fore, especially in large companies.

Even the woman!

But not only companies are required, but also the women themselves. It is important to avoid the stereotypical trap. How does this look in practice? The pragmatist clearly sees the short-term benefit and arranges to copy her male colleagues to climb the career ladder.

The idealist, on the other hand: Her long-term goal is "real" equality - imitating the typically male characteristics is out of the question for her. Both appear to be “harder” in appearance than their male colleagues.

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The Bastille of femininity is to be defended

No woman should give up her personality; because one must always be a leader, whether male or female, authentic. Women should therefore sharpen their gaze

  • for situations where they have not been adopted,
  • for issues where they can not get through
  • And for positions for which they are not considered.

Why is not woman advancing - and what can she do about it?

The second step is to analyze the reasons and to prepare a concrete plan.

  • Wondering which of your female attributes you can use to get ahead? In critical situations empathy, charm and diplomacy, for example, help more than a brute force of willpower.
  • Where can women learn from male executives? For example, they do not play down successes, but sell themselves confidently, challenge themselves and use their own power.
  • Because hand on heart - would you trust a man with exclusively feminine qualities real leadership qualities? Probably not! Traditional ways of thinking take longer than you and woman think to be overcome.

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German edition: ISBN 9783965964983

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English version: ISBN 9783965964990 (Translation notice)

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German edition: ISBN 9783965964983

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English version: ISBN 9783965964990 (Translation notice)

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  1. Ludovica

    What a nonsensical topic, of course, can lead happy women. On the contrary, more managers should be happy.

  2. My column in “DIE WELT” questions common role clichés: Cowboys in high heels? | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES

    […] A study by the Technical University of Munich has shown that happy women are less likely to be expected to lead. That depends on the stereotypes in [...]

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