It’s Women’s History Month. And what better time and place than this edition of Words at Work to highlight how we thrive when women lead?

It’s one thing for me, a woman, to gush about how awesome we are at leading. But it’s another to present research that spotlights specific traits women bring to the table and the positive impact they have on their organization. So I’ll let the evidence speak for itself.

The following are research-backed ways in which women demonstrate great leadership.

Higher Levels of Trust

Researchers have found that having women in leadership has a positive effect on trust in organizations. According to a 2022 study by Joshi and Diekman, the mere presence of a female leader contributed to participants anticipating fairer treatment. Further, the presence of female leaders prompted more organizational trust across both male and female–dominated industries and across different levels of organizational hierarchies.

Better Collaboration

Evidence also suggests that women have a positive effect on collaboration in the workplace. A 2010 study by Woolley et al. found that the presence of women in a group of collaborators greatly improved the team’s collective intelligence, which correlated with the average social sensitivity of group members and the equality in the distribution of conversational turn-taking.

Better Overall Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

It makes sense that members of traditionally marginalized groups would look out for one another in the workplace. And research suggests that women are more significant allies of women of color compared to men. McKinsey (2021) found that 38% of women in senior positions mentored or sponsored one or more women of color, compared to 26% of men. They also found that women are twice as likely to spend time on equity, inclusion, and diversity than men.

More Emotional Support

Female managers are more supportive of their teams, according to a 2021 McKinsey report. The study found that 31% of women provide emotional support compared to 19% of male managers. And up to 61% of women leaders check on the team’s overall well-being compared to 54% of men in the same positions.

A note on emotional support: While women’s demonstrated ability to show empathy and emotional support should be celebrated, it’s important to note that women are more likely than men to perform emotional labor outside of their job descriptions and hours.

To read more about areas for improvement regarding gender diversity in the workplace, check out this past blog.


Surely, there’s a lot of work to do for women to be properly represented and respected in the workforce. But that doesn’t mean positive change isn’t happening. According to McKinsey’s 2023 Women in the Workplace report, women’s representation in the C-suite is at the highest it has ever been. So let’s continue highlighting women’s strengths and their positive impact on organizations to make an even bigger, faster impact.

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