Caliper’s Women Leaders Research Study Examines How Personality Traits Overcome Barrier and Stereotype Threats at Executive Level


Caliper’s Women Leaders Research Study Examines How Personality Traits Overcome Barrier and Stereotype Threats at Executive Level

PRINCETON, N.J., Jan. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — CALIPER, a pioneer in talent assessment and consulting for over 50 years, has released its Women Leaders Research Study which identifies barriers and stereotype threats that negatively impact women leaders and examines the personality traits that exist within these successful women to overcome them. The findings offer insight and guidance on the challenges women share and how organizations can better support the development of women leaders.

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Among the measured variables in the study including personality and self-rated performance, CALIPER identified 16 barrier aspects, 10 stereotype threats, and 45 leadership items that were of particular interest. Furthermore, participants were asked to note the frequency of stress or anxiety caused by the barriers, use a seven point scale to gauge the perceived threat of each stereotype threat, and note how often they use leadership behaviors in response to these challenges. The results show that women leaders demonstrate attributes including resiliency, energy, and empathy which are needed for success on a path full of resistance and difficulty as women face unique challenges, such as finding a work-life balance.

While women leaders predominately view their gender as a strong factor in their own self-identity and corporate success, they also perceive this as a factor in experiencing more instances of gender-based stereotype threats in the workplace. Although this gender-bias related to how others may perceive their performance exists, the women leaders in the survey were not greatly impacted by it. In fact, when linking self-rated performance to personality, CALIPER found that ego-strength was a key trait associated with higher performance ratings, along with empathy, aggressiveness, stress tolerance, assertiveness, and energy.

“The discussion regarding women in leadership is ongoing as women face more barriers to reaching leadership positions than men. Finding a work-life balance is important to successful women leaders which our research shows,” explained Thomas E. Schoenfelder, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Development at CALIPER. “Organizations that take the time to look at women who exhibit universal leadership traits can better plan for the future and provide training, coaching and mentorship to help those individuals overcome barriers.”

CALIPER conducted this research to provide organizations with a deeper understanding of the personality traits shared among men and women leaders, as well as those that distinguish them. Organizations that understand the links between women’s personality attributes and how they serve in overcoming resistance to obtaining leadership roles can create programs to identify and nurture that talent for the long-term benefit of the company. It is critical for organizations to be aware of these issues and differences so they can create a more equal ground for women to succeed.

To find out more about Caliper’s Women Leaders Research Paper and download your free copy visit:

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