The fairer sex scored higher than men on the key issues of strategic drive, risk taking, people skills, aesthetics and altruism, and innovation. They equalled males in the area of emotional stability. ''The study reflects the ability of women to look beyond operational process management and cost control alone, and focus more on the holistic elements of a business,'' said Gillian O'Mara, director and general manager of Steps Leadership Programs, which commissioned the study.
The two areas men came out on top were command and control of management operations, and focusing on financial returns. This showed men were more task focused and more comfortable getting the job done, rather than bothering with relationships.
''I think a number of people might have suspected women are stronger in people management skils, or some of the typically softer skills. But the results in terms of strategic drive, risk taking and capacity for innovation might surprise some,'' Ms O'Mara said, adding that confidence was key to women moving into management roles.
''The confidence women have at the start of their careers is vital to building their career plans and putting themselves forward for promotion and actively networking and seeking mentors,'' the Courier Mail quoted her as saying.
The study was conducted using the Hogan Assessment System (HAS), an international personality test designed to help organisations select employees and develop leaders. HAS has been used by companies including BHP, Qantas, Harvey Norman and AMP.