UnknownI’m wading carefully into this issue of women as leaders, trying not to piss anyone off. The question remains, if women make better leaders than men, why are there fewer of them in the C Suite? This is to me, a paradox of ego.

My own experience is that women don’t have egos the size of mens. A man’s ego will say, “I can do that” where a woman will say “Can I do that?” I know this is a gross generalization but for a well publicized example, look at Cheryl Sandberg. The author of the book, Lean In is COO of Facebook.

In an interview for The Guardian , she goes on to identify “behaviours exhibited by women in the workplace – an unwillingness to ask for more money; a tendency, in meetings, to hold back; a conservatism in estimating their self-worth – as the warping effect of historical and ongoing gender bias. Guys in her office go for promotion when they have a fraction of the necessary skills, she notes; women, by and large, wait until they have 100%. And wait to be asked, or rather, cajoled into applying.”

Cheryl’s story of her own negotiation for her compensation at Facebook is an excellent example of just that thinking at work.

This is all a function of ego. The irony is that this is one of the factors that make women better leaders. This lack of ego. It isn’t all about them so they can do a better job meeting employee needs.

So a lack of ego makes women better leaders but hinders their rise to positions of leadership. Human behaviour sure is a funny thing eh?