How the right women build more portable skills than men – Insights from Boris Groysberg

Apr 19
Author:Ash Natesh
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Professor Boris Groysberg and his colleagues from Harvard Business School analysed the risks of companies recruiting star performers from their competitors. In their research, they studied a thousand star stock analysts and their patterns of how they work in organisations. They found that when a star performer moves to another organisation, their performance plunges along with the market value of their new company.

However, further analysis of data over the past three years indicates that its not that simple. To compare between men and women, women were more likely to maintain their performance consistently after joining the new organisation. In fact, female employees’ performance was consistent whether they switched firms or not. According to Professor Groysberg, ‘organisations that are recruiting male stars ‘experienced a significant share-price loss of 0.93%, whereas the acquisitions of female stars generated a nonsignificant share-price increase of 0.07%).

So why is there so much of a difference?

The best female analysts built their performance based on portable, external partnerships with clients rather than more of an internal approach. On the other hand, male analysts built up greater teams that were internally focused. Additionally, women also took greater care while picking their next employer. Female employees according to Professor Groysberg seem to pay more attention to their work environment even though they did not rely on the environment as much as men did.

“Women took greater care and analysed a wider range of factors than men before deciding to uproot themselves.”

– Professor Boris Groysberg, Harvard Business School

Though women adopt these strategies to overcome standardised norms in the workplace that often times puts them at a disadvantage, the nature of the portable skills is something that any manager should learn.

The strategies of these star women are outlined below based on market place analysis by Professor Boris Groysberg and his colleagues:

The external nature of partnerships

Men in the sales, trades or investment world often spent time with other men internally. However, women made more efforts in cultivating relationships with clients and contacts outwith of the company. This external focus rested on four key factors according to Professor Groysberg namely; poor in-house relationships, bad mentorship, neglect in the workplace and vulnerability in the market.

Picking prospective employers with care

Women are often more deliberate in changing employers. Experience has taught them the need for a supportive culture in the workplace. Men tend to concentrate more on pay packages and benefits over culture. Women focus on more aspects of the job while making the move namely: receptivity to the female gender, flexibility, managerial support, and fairness in the measurement of performance.

“Women look for organisations that welcome them as individuals, with distinctive styles and methods of distinguishing their franchises.”

– Professor Boris Groysberg, Harvard Business School

The research that Professor Boris Groysberg undertook shows that women possess more portable skills, which should be taken into consideration when recruiting. The differences shown between the skills men and women hold also shows the value of hiring a diverse workforce.

Professor Boris Groysberg from Harvard Business School will be drawing from his extensive experience and knowledge in organisational behaviour and women in leadership at the upcoming 2nd Annual Leveraging Executive Female Talent Forum on the 25th July 2019 in Sydney.

Attend the executive forum to learn how to:

  • Optimise executive leadership capability through enhanced female participation
  • Enhance and maximise professional skill sets with practical insights on leadership development
  • Adapt world class benchmarking tools
  • Build your culture and create alignment within your entire organisation

Original Source:

Submitted by Ash Natesh

Ash Natesh

Ash is the Content Marketer at Criterion Conferences. Writing and sourcing content is all part of her day to day routine. She can’t stop drinking coffee, other than coffee her interests lie in Music, long walks amidst the mountains, Dance, Anime, Science Fiction and all things nerdy!

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