What women really want from their boss

Women are more likely to enjoy their job, have a higher level of career satisfaction and take more pride in their work, according to a new report from the Right Management group.

Women are more likely to enjoy their job, have a higher level of career satisfaction and take more pride in their work, according to a new report from the Right Management group.


But the Engaging and Motivating Senior Women Within Organisations report also confirms there are still more men than women in the workforce in higher seniority levels.


“Although women are present in almost equal numbers to men in the workforce, as a whole there is a diminishing representation of women in the workforce, relative to men, as job level increases,” the report says.


According to the report, women currently make up 44.2% of managers and professionals. However, these percentages fall substantially at executive manager, CEO and board director levels.


Right Management regional practice leader Kelly Samson, who authored the report, says the results are not necessarily surprising but emphasise how women and men are motivated in different ways.


“I suppose some of the surprise is just to get that real significant recognition that women and men do value different things in terms of the workplace on a whole in a significant way,” she says.


“For example, for a typical woman they want to receive incentive to work hard, and that’s a non-monetary reward. The drive of the women is around team work, whereas the drivers for men are more individualistic. Being encouraged to come up with new ideas,” she says.


According to the report, 63.4% of women claim they are satisfied with the organisation for which they work against 58.6% of men, while 64.3% of women claim they have high job satisfaction compared to 59.5% of men.


The report also concludes females and males differ in their values and motivators for a job, with women seeking an organisation that include:


  • A flexible and family-friendly work environment while still supporting career progression.
  • Where both tangible rewards (such as remuneration package etc) and intangible rewards (like flexibility, working-from-home, career development etc) are in place to incentivise and reward hard work and performance.
  • That truly values employees, embraces diversity and respects all individuals, and that these behaviours are role modelled by the senior leadership.
  • Where all employees’ opinions are heard and treated as important (not just the majority group).

The report also concluded “males were also more likely to be orientated towards numbers, statistics and facts and prefer to use them as a basis for their decisions”, while, “females were more detail conscious, affiliative, caring and vigorous”.

But the report also stressed classic stereotypes are to be avoided: “At least in terms of personality, individual differences are much greater than average gender differences.”


The report recommends companies offer intangible rewards, further career opportunities, truly value their employees and create a “flexible and family-friendly work culture that still supports career progression.”


But Samson encourages companies not to stress too much on developing one set of incentives for men and another for women.


“It’s not so much designing a strategy but… creating a culture that recognises contribution and rewards performance in non-traditional ways,” she says. “I think it’s really about thinking not one size fits all.”


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Visit Women’s Agenda for more news and advice for professional women.


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