Performance Improvement 2011-2012. Are there Significant Differences in the Leadership Skills of Male and Female Scientific Leaders?


Female scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have presented anecdotal evidence that their leadership development needs are different from those of male scientific leaders. There is a perception among female scientists that women do not progress in their careers as effectively as their male counterparts. This study explored potential differences between male and female scientific leaders at NIH. Twenty-two scientific leaders were invited to complete the Denison Leadership Development Survey. The specific competencies rated included: Empowering People, Building Teamwork, Developing Organizational Capability, Defining Core Values, Working to Reach Agreement, Managing Coordination and Integration, Creating Change, Promoting Organizational Learning, Emphasizing Customer Focus, Creating Shared Vision, Defining Strategic Direction and Intent, and Defining Goals and Objectives.

Small differences were found for some rater groups; however, the differences were only significant for Direct Reports and Combined Others ratings. No significant differences were observed between male and female leaders in the Self, Peer, Supervisor or Others ratings. Direct Reports of male leaders rated their leaders more favorably than those of females leaders and Combined Others ratings mirrored some of the same patterns. These results suggested that there may be some differences in how male and female leader are perceived at NIH, especially by their Direct Reports.

Report Title: The Denison Leadership Development Survey: Exploring Gender Differences at the National Institutes of Health
Agency Sponsor: NIH, National Institutes of Health
Federal Contact: Rosanna Ng, 301-496-5367
Performer: Doyen Consulting Services, Inc.
Record ID: 9490 (Report issued April 21, 2011)

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"PerformanceImprovement2011-2012.pdf" (pdf, 701.44Kb)

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