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Singaporeans say men make better leaders than women: Survey

Study shows Singaporeans think men score better in attributes such as leading by example, admitting mistakes and handling controversial issues calmly and confidently.

SINGAPORE: Majority of Singaporeans believe that male leaders are more capable than their female counterparts in leading the country over the next five years, according to a new study released on Thursday (May 22).

The annual Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor said three in four Singaporeans believe male leaders are ahead of female leaders in key attributes such as leading by example, admitting mistakes, and handling controversial issues calmly and confidently.

About 83 per cent of the 500 Singaporeans polled also said men are best at making tough decisions, while 77 per cent said men provide a clear overall, long-term vision. The male-female ratio for the 500 Singaporeans polled was 51 per cent to 49 per cent.

By comparison, the global findings showed men just edging out women - 54 per cent to 46 per cent - when it comes to better leadership over the next five years, it added.

Ketchum Global Research & Analytics conducted an online survey of 6,509 respondents in 13 countries from January 10 to 31, 2014. Other countries polled include the United States, France Germany and Spain, while Asian countries besides Singapore include China and India.

Rise of "feminine" leadership communication model

The global findings also pointed a new, more "feminine" model of leadership communication is emerging across the world. Female leaders were ahead of men in traits such as communicating in an open and transparent way and bringing out the best in others, it stated.

"It's interesting to note that despite a new, more 'feminine' leadership archetype emerging globally, Singaporeans are still more inclined to support male leaders. The study revealed a similar picture in China and India, where male leaders are also strongly favoured," said John Bailey, managing director of Ketchum ICON Singapore, in the press statement released today.

Regardless of gender, Mr Bailey said leaders need to note the key leadership communication traits deemed most important by the public as they understand how current gaps in leadership can be addressed.

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