In workplaces with a high percentage of women in a management position more individualized employee feedback is carried out, more democratic decisions are adopted and more interpersonal channels of communications are established, according to a study by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).
This research study aims to study up to what point administrative practices of persons in the workplace are different in management teams that have a higher proportion of women. "In line with known gender differences in individual leadership, we find that in workplaces with more women managers more individualized employee feedback is carried out,” asserted the study’s author, Eduardo Melero, Professor in the UC3M Department of Business Administration, who has published the results of this research in the Journal of Business Research. "Likewise we can see evidence, although weaker, that in these workplaces decisions are made more democratically and more interpersonal channels of communications are established,” he added.
According to the researchers, these differences at the individual level between men and women leaders tend to reflect the distinct behaviour that the two genders have in general in society and can have applications in the working world. If a company wants to apply practices aimed at increased direct contact between management and employees, it could be easier with more women higher up in the organizational ranks. "Women managers seem to be more inclined to use these types of practices, individually, as well as promoting them among the rest of the management team,” Professor Eduardo Melero explained. "And as such, a management team with more women could be more effective (keeping all other factors constant) when implementing them,” he concluded.
In order to carry out this study, data has been used from the Workplace Employment Relationships Survey, a survey of workplaces in the United Kingdom. "While using this survey in another research project, I suddenly realized that all the information that it contained, if employed well, could be used to delve further into a subject which psychologists had studied extensively but always at the individual level,” Melero, an economist and professor of Business Administration, explained.
To arrive at these conclusions, it is not enough to determine if there is a strong correlation between the percentage of women in management and the type of practices carried out, since there are a large number of factors that could be at the origin of this correlation, such as characteristics of the company, the sector, or the personnel. To take this into account, Melero carried out a regression analysis in which he controlled for the effect of a number of factors at these three levels (company, sector, and personnel) when analyzing the relation between the percentage of women in management and the type of practices applied.