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Pershing Study Reveals American Gender Paradox: If People Prefer How Women Lead, Why Aren't There More Women In Leadership Positions?









JERSEY CITY, N.J., Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Pershing LLC (Pershing), a BNY Mellon company, today released a new study titled, Americans Crave a New Kind of Leader—And Women Are Ready to Deliver, which presents a conflicting but positive outlook on the changing role of women.

Among the key findings in the study is that while both genders feel there are not enough women in positions of power in the workplace, when asked about women in specific roles and occupations, a majority of Americans fall back on traditional gender roles.

Pershing's study, drawn from more than 2,000 U.S. adults, shows that the clear majority of Americans prefer executives that utilize newer, more collaborative leadership styles. Interestingly, 7 out of 10 Americans associate these leadership styles with women. By contrast, 77 percent of respondents attribute "traditional" leadership approaches, such as giving orders and employing the reward/punishment model, with men.

With women making up nearly two-thirds of the U.S. workforce today, it is unsurprising that their increased influence in the workplace has led to a corresponding change in leadership styles. However, men still vastly outnumber women in key leadership roles despite the preference for management styles that people more strongly associate with women. Furthermore, this trend continues despite the fact that women are out-pacing men in earning college degrees and a greater percentage of women are becoming the primary income earner in the household.

"It's clear that women are contributing exciting new approaches to management and leadership," says Kim Dellarocca, global head of practice management and segment marketing at Pershing. "However the research shows that a gap still exists between the acceptance of management style and the actual preferences in leadership choices."

The survey uncovered a surprising correlation between age and attitudes toward women at work. While conventional wisdom says that young people are more open to new ideas, the results reveal that the older the individual, the greater the comfort with seeing women in leadership positions. This pattern could be a result of real-life experiences in working with women in various occupations that have helped break down the traditional stereotypes.

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