Women's quota is like compulsory seat belts
Women are better managers, but the companies haven't noticed it yet. This is what career advisor Martin Wehrle says in his new book - and explains what women can score with and what the women's quota has in common with compulsory seat belts.
From Martin Wehrle
Suppose you owned a large company and were looking for a new director - would you prefer a woman or a man?
Wehrle: With the same qualifications, I would prefer the woman. Because the female leadership style fits better into the modern world of work. Men have learned to lead over millennia in the church and the military. The principle of command and obedience applies. The employees have to be commanded, not convinced.
What if the men now shout: “You can't lump us all together!”?
Then what do the women call? In almost all companies it works the other way round: Senior management positions automatically go to men - because women are apparently lumped together and they do not trust top management. Wrongly!
What do women do differently than men when it comes to leadership?
The classic alpha male is a lone wolf. The other day a managing director proudly told me: “This year I had to break off my vacation to get the chestnuts out of the fire again.” Actually, the uniform of such a boss should be the Superman costume.
This interview is an edited excerpt from Martin Wehrle's new book: “Mr. Müller, you are not pregnant ?! - Why a woman's professional life would be a scandal for every man. ”(Mosaik, 2014).
And is it different for women?
Most female bosses would be appalled if business didn't go on vacation. You would ask yourself: what can I do to better empower my employees? Your considerations go in an objective, constructive direction. In contrast, many men think in terms of power and hoard knowledge.
Men decide lonely, you say. Don't women at the top have to do the same?
Nobody makes the final decision for a manager. The only question is, on what basis it is felled. I observe that female bosses communicate significantly more than men: They involve experts, listen to the grassroots and weigh carefully.
Are these just subjective impressions from you?
No, it has been scientifically proven that women inspire their employees better than men, that they are more suitable as role models and that they develop young managers more professionally. In addition, many examples from the USA show that women managers have a fantastic instinct for customer needs.
That means: we don't need any male managers anymore?
And whether we need them! As urgent as women. Mixed teams work most effectively and generate over 50 percent more profit. Combine men's willingness to take risks with women's prudence - and you get excellent decisions.
«Women have to reach for power more often. The best way to get a managerial position: act like a manager beforehand! So pay attention to status symbols, see through power games. »
When it comes to leadership, women are more democratic than men. Isn't that interpreted as a weak decision-making?
On the contrary! If employees have the chance to have a say in a decision, they are much more likely to support it. Today, the actual work takes place in a room to which a manager has no access: the head of the employee. He will only contribute his thoughts and ideas if he feels comfortable and valued. Female executives often manage to create such a climate.
Why are women more likely than men to do this?
Women do not define their self-confidence by submitting others, but by intact relationships. You are more empathetic and find the right words. It is not for nothing that a three-year-old girl has twice as much vocabulary as a boy of the same age. The female hemispheres are better connected, which promotes language skills. The reasons lie in evolution: the man is a trained silence; During the hunt, a group had to remain silent for hours. Meanwhile, the women have been able to talk and cultivate relationships while gathering and household chores.
What do you think of the quota for women?
I see it like the seat belt when driving a car: if you are sensible, you buckle up without being forced by any law. But when companies are unreasonable and still fixated on men, a quota for women can help. But please not only have a quota for supervisory and board members - but for all management levels, including the lower ones!
Why is this so important to you?
Because women's ascent has to be organic, just as it does for men. Anyone who has only known Tempo 60 up to now cannot keep up in Formula 1. On the other hand, women who have passed through all management levels cannot be demonstrated by top managers.
Many women reject the quota. Why?
Because they share a fear of the French philosopher Elisabeth Badinter: Anyone who asks for help as a woman is quickly seen as in need of help, as a little supplicant. Nobody wants to travel upstairs on the quota woman's ticket. That is why it is so important that women do not advance because of the quota - but because of their skills!
Do male bosses see this ability?
Unfortunately seldom! According to a study by the German Consulting Group, 94 percent of male executives say: "Female talents" do not represent any added value in top management. Studies from the USA and Europe show that female top managers increase company profits by around 50 percent.
What can women do to advance without a quota?
Women have to reach for power more often. The best way to get a management position: act like a manager beforehand! So pay attention to status symbols, see through power games and note the difference between male and female communication. For example, a project manager wants to dampen her criticism of a colleague by prefixing praise - and is then surprised that the man only hears the praise. Clear messages and good self-PR are required.
Women are uncomfortable with making a lot of ado about their own performance!
Which, in turn, is pleasant for the men - then their drumming comes through all the louder. Here women have to jump over their shadows: Anyone who understates has lied!
(Photo: berc, Fotolia)
The career advisor Martin Wehrle is career and salary coach. He advises employees of all DAX companies and is one of the most cited career experts in Germany. In his Hamburg career advisor academy, he leads the nationwide first training as a career coach.