Women do not want to be Boss!

Today I read an interesting article by Katrin Ullrich who is working for the  KfW Bankengruppe , which is the biggest promotional bank under the Federal Republic and Laender.

She wrote in the field of women entrepreneurship and raised the question: “Do women start smaller businesses?” Yes, they do. She argues that when it comes to teaming up and hiring employees “women generally have a smaller labor force attachment than men.” One of the reasons is that “women have less need for achievement than men and are thus less eager to be boss in business”.

This statement made me think. We have written a lot about barriers, carrer obstacles and characteristics of women which could sum up to a competitive advantage in the future. What about the actual motivation of women to be boss in business?

Personally, I have observed women as predominantly being social and caring. I have not discovered the big “male ambition” of being the best or to be in need for power. Of course, there are exceptions which evoked the admittedly somewhat dumb saying: “She has got man balls”.

So who are the strong women who want to be in the supervisory board?

Interestingly, if you think about role models you probably end up in politics or social and human rights movements. You do not really end up in economics, do you? This again could confirm my first thought that women are predominantly social and caring.

I would be very interested in the opinion of my fellow female students, maybe there are interesting links or articles which we want to consider. This time I have attached a funny video scene from Scrubs, something to round it up and laugh.


5 Responses to “Women do not want to be Boss!”
  1. katjo2010 says:

    Great article and funny video :o)
    I thought about female role models in the economy, inspired by your article. And it took me quite some time to think of some.
    The first ones coming to mind are, as you said, political (e.g. Angela Merkel and Christina Schröder).
    Then I thought of the DAX companies…but there are only a few women in the Executives and Supervisory Boards (e.g. Barbara Kux – Siemens), I think 2% in total.
    But then the SME (small- and medium-sized enterprises) came to my mind and i read, that already every fourth SME is lead by a women. So there they are, the women in leading positions! To name a few: Liz Mohn (Bertelsmann – Executives Board), Simone Bagel-Trah (Henkel – Supervisory Board) and Nicole Leibinger-Kammüller (Trumpf – Executives Board).
    So maybe we might consider looking at the SMEs for role models and figure out, why and how it works there and then apply this to the DAX companies rather than implementing a women’s quota?

  2. martinjaja says:

    Great post Thomas. I especially love the video in the end.

    With regard to all post we have had. I think you absolutely highlighted an important question: Do women really want to be leading positions?

    I have just came across an interesting study with the tilte “Do women want to lead?” published by the online plattform Leaders Circle. They came to the result that men and women have totally different objectives for their life. According to the survey, most men are mainly focused on their career whereas most women are keen on having a happy personal life.

    Moreover, the study showed that men and women have different understanding about the term “career”. Women associated the word mainly with promotion and executive positions. For men it is more about achieving their personal goals and dreams.

    I am totally for equal opportunities for men and women but I think that study totally underlines Thomas’ thesis. I am just asking myself, why putting that much effort in something that the target group does not really want?

  3. diiasg says:

    Very good post. I agree that it doesn’t necessarily have to be true that women want to “be boss”. Personally I have experienced women who I felt lacked a bit of true confidence and competence and wanted to compensate this with harsh and brute force. this doesn’t always work well.

    I believe that any person in elite leading positions (regardless of gender) has an aura of confidence through their competence that allows them to be easy yet firm. It is a sensitive balancing act.

    Also, it sometimes can be that offended persons are offended due to their inability to express themselves or hold their own in a discussion.

    Regardless, I enjoyed your post.

  4. Mary says:

    Great post, Thomas! Clearly structured, interesting to read and nice video!

    Dealing with the subject since a few weeks, I find it harder and harder to talk about women and men. At the beginning, I somehow defined the term ‘women’ in dependence of myself. I thought ‘sure they want to lead. And sure they want to climb the ladder. And sure they are able to’. But on the other hand – sure there are women who do not want to be the boss.

    Martin highlighted a very good question – maybe women are in general more pleased with their achievements and do not necessarily strive to go higher and higher. Or they find their goals in other things. (Like children?)

    So maybe there is no glass ceiling at all but just unconfident women hiding behind this metaphor? Or women that are afraid of admitting having other thoughts in mind?

  5. Izzy says:

    How about this: there is not one type of women and only one type of men. I think, we all know that there are very successful women out there in business and less successful men. Otherwise, it is like the Americans believing that we Germans wear Dirndl and Lederhose all day, every day.
    I agree with you, Mary. I am also struggling to talk about gender, because there is no definite solution. It is always more of a as-well-as-situation and less of a either-or-situation AND there will always be a but.

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