In the scope of the 7. Human  Resources Summit, 20 questioned gender characteristics survey, conducted during the presentation of Assoc. Prof. Yeşim Toduk Akiş’s presentation named “Woman In Leadership”,  was implemented  among 30 women managers. Results of  both Sandra Lipritz Bem’s ‘Bem Sex Role Inventory’(BSRI) survey on British attendants and Akiş’s survey consisting of 30 women managers were comparatively stated below.

Survey results have shown that women managers are evaluated as more compassionate (%83), more gentle (%53), more understanding (%73), warmer (%83), more affectionate (%83) and more loyal (%93) compared to their male colleagues. (See table 2).

Added to this, neutral characteristics such as unpredictability and friendliness have been mostly associated with the women gender roles. None of the masculine characteristics of benchmarked, BSRI, study could have been attributed to women. (See table 1)

Men managers are seen more aggressive, but at the same time more self reliant, acting more frequently as a leader, more independent and risk taker by women managers in a gender roles evaluation. A neutral characteristic, ‘adaptability’ was highly perceived masculine. None of the women characteristics were attributed to men.

The characteristics happiness, secretiveness, being systematic were stated as unisex characteristics by the women attendants. Masculine characteristics such as being ambitious and competetive have been attributed to both men and women by the attendants.

Survey results have shown that women managers think men and women characteristics were clearly seperated. Both men and women are behaving in the socially determined patterns and also awaiting the opposite sex to behave likely. Therefore, six of eight characteristics attributed to men and five of six characteristics attributed to women indicated such a situation. In this context, women managers are more understanding, more inclined to setting up the harmony and cohesion among people, more merciful and compassionate according to the women attendants.  Men, on the other hand, are seen more aggressive, more self reliant, more frequently acting like a leader influencing the others by women attendants.

The interesting point in this survey is characteristics usually referred as nötr such as friendliness and unpredictability were attributed to women and a referred-to-women characteristic, adaptability was generally attributed to men.

When we take the neutral characteristics into account seperately, most outstanding issue is that women managers are seen as ambitious and as competetive as their male counterparts in women attendants’ opinion. Although  ambition and competetiveness are traditionally seen as male-originated characteristics, women’s inclination on these characteristics is signifying that women are also caring about these characteristics to be succeessful in a male-oriented business environment. Related to this, we may state that women managers are willing to improve their careers having a greater spectrum of  attitudes without any prejudices against women.


Table 1. Bem Sex Role Inventory Results *


*BSRI Study in The Psychology of Woman,M.R.Walsh, 1987, Yale University Press


Table 2. Evaluation of  the Survey on Turkish Female Managers (May 16 2002)


n:  number of samples
Table 3.  Gender Role Seperation in Women Managers’ Point of  View


Female gender roles:

merciful, gentle, understanding, warm, compassionate, loyal,

friendly, unpredictable


Male gender roles:

Aggressive, self reliant, acting as a leader, independent, willing to take risk,



Neutral gender roles:

Ambitious, competetive

Happy, secretive, unsystematic