WSJ: Women Are Less Likely to Delegate Than Men—and That Might Hurt Their Careers

12 Oct 2019
When women don’t delegate, they have less time for big-picture work and mentoring.

Originally found at The Wall Street Journal, by Michelle Ma

Conventional wisdom says getting ahead means putting your head down and doing the work. The corner office goes to the one who puts in the hours. But what if it doesn’t?

The key to workplace success might instead lie not in doing the work, but rather in passing much of it on to others. And new research suggests that women are at a big disadvantage on that delegation front.

That’s the main takeaway from a quintet of Columbia Business School studies that examine differences in the way men and women delegate. Led by Modupe Akinola, an associate professor of management at the business school, researchers found that women are less likely to delegate than men, are more likely to feel guilty about doing so and tend to have less-courteous interactions with subordinates when they do pass on tasks.

The problem then is that women who don’t delegate have little time for big-picture work, and miss opportunities to train and mentor their subordinates, the Columbia researchers found.

Continue reading this article at The Wall Street Journal.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal

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