4. Taller Is Better
In one study that polled half of Fortune 500 companies, the average male CEO was three inches taller than the average man, coming in at just under 6 feet. It seems that taller is also better when it comes to salary negotiations and raises: Men who are 6 feet or taller make an average of $5,525 more per year than men who are only 5 feet 5 inches tall.
What People Look for in a Female Exec …
1. Fit and Skinny
The effect that weight has on the perception of female leaders is even more pronounced than it is for men. A Michigan State study found that while 45% to 61% of top male CEOs are overweight (possessing BMIs between 25 and 29), only 5% to 22% of female CEOs are overweight. The researchers believe that this discrepancy “reflects a greater tolerance and possibly even a preference for a larger size among men but a smaller size among women.”
2. Not Talkative
While power and volubility go hand in hand for male leaders, women at the top speak much less than their male counterparts. Why? They fear backlash. A study from Yale University affirmed this fear: A female CEO who spoke for a disproportionately longer time than others was perceived as significantly less competent and less suitable for leadership than a male CEO who spoke for the same amount of time.
3. “Feminine” Traits … But Only for Women at the Top
A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that women who come across as sensitive and caring were better evaluated than their male counterparts–but only if they were at the uppers echelons of a business organization. However, the study’s authors caution that “successful women may face changing stereotypes as they move up the corporate ladder,” and the same characteristics that might be praised further on in a career may be hindrances at lower and mid-level positions.