If your business is in need of an excellent leader, it may time to look beyond the usual suspects.
PricewaterhouseCoopers and Hartill Consulting surveyed over 6,000 professionals in a recent study and discovered that only 8 percent of those surveyed exhibited strategist leader capabilities. Among others, these leadership skills include resilience, human perspective, positive use of language, and the capacity to move between observation and detail.
The survey found the largest population of strategist leaders came from the population of women over the age of 55.
This is an important finding because although this population is more likely to exhibit the skills required to effectively lead, women over age 55 are also frequently passed over for promotion opportunities.
One reason women over 55 are more likely to make better leaders than their male counterparts? They are more likely to "see situations from multiple perspectives, employ positive language and exercise power courageously," according to the study.
Rachael Saunders, the Age at Work Director, called the research "interesting" and suggested that the role of motherhood may be a contributing factor as to why older women make better bosses, since many of the skills required to “look after people” are transferable to managing teams.
"Historically, women over the age of 55 would not have been an area of focus, but as the research suggests, this pool of talent might hold the key transformation and, in some cases, business survival," said Jessica Leith, a consultant at PwC.
If HR and recruiters begin to give women over 55 a fair chance to exhibit their leadership skills by promoting and recruiting them, businesses may reach potentials they never imagined. Let's make a change and give these women the roles they are the most qualified for.
Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. She is a contributing writer for Color My Bubble. Her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets anthology.