Female leaders are better, but male leaders are more wanted

Third year in a row, Ketchum, one of the world's leading agency for public relations, conducted a "Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM)" survey which deals with the study of trust in leadership.

Ketchum, one of the worl's leading agency for public relations, conducted a study ''Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM)'' which deals with the study of trust in leadership. This year KLCM study was conducted at six thousand and five hundred respondents in thirteen countries on five continents, and deals with issues related to effective leadership and effective communication, and their interconnection. For the first time, KLCM this year examined the question of leadership and gender. 

Third annual KLCM survey shows clearly that a global leadership “crisis” stubbornly persists, as consumers continue to be disillusioned with their leaders, but also revealed that the future of communication is in new, more “feminine” leadership communication model. Female leaders were seen better in all of four the most important leaders attributes than their male colleagues, and also were seen better in 10 of 14 attributes important for effective leaders. However, 54% of those surveyed thinks that male leaders should lead the world for the next five years.


Marina Čulić Fischer, director of the Ketchum exclusive representative for Croatia, Dialog komunikacije PR agency said: ''I think that the next year we should explore why people expect men to lead them if women clearly have better leadership qualities. It must be some secret ingredient that makes them more attractive, but that is a question for psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists. " 


Some additional key findings from the survey are:

  • Even fewer respondents than last year (22% vs 24%) feel leaders are demonstrating effective leadership. Business leaders have been less great leaders than last year (29% vs 34%), althought they still believe them more than leaders from other sectors (49% believe business leaders meet expectations vs. 70% feel politicians fall short of expectations).
  • People want action, not just the story. They want from their leaders to lead them by their own example, they want open communication, admitting mistakes and leaders who are capable for bringing out the best in others.
  • Trustworthiness is the key requirement of corporate leaders. It's followed by quality and customer service.
  • Poor leadership directly affects sales (61% vs. 60%).
  • Traditional channels have greatest impact on leadership perceptions. In the first place are TV Interviews (49%), in second place is in-person speeches (42%), in third place are formal announcements (34%). Presence on social networks have far less impact on leadership perceptions - 16% of respondents in this context takes seriously Facebook, while only 9% of Twitter.
  • This year survey revealed the ''Leadership eVangelists'' - a specific minority that is highly active online and have an impact on commercial nad reputational outcomes, equally more actively positive when impressed with leadership or more actively negative when unimpressed.

KLCM 2014- infographic