Oxford, United Kingdom, June 10, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- According to the results of a study by workplace psychologists OPP, women are making career decisions based on more solid information than their male colleagues. Around a quarter (24%) of men reported they leave their careers to luck compared to one in five women. More than one in four (26%) men even admit that opportunism is one of the most important factors when making career decisions, compared to 19% of women.
Women are more likely to base career choices on their core abilities than men are (47% compared with 41%). Women are also significantly more likely to use psychometric tests to find out about a variety of factors, such as how to use natural skills to greater effect (55%,) how personality impacts on colleagues (34%) and even to identify their ideal vocation (22%).
The OPP study also looked at how line managers make decisions about people and, revealed a silver lining for men. Women in more senior positions are much more likely than men to trust their gut instinct when it comes to people decisions (42% as compared with 36%). The result is a greater number of female line managers regretting the decisions they make. Only 22% of women would make the same people decisions if given a second chance, compared with 34% of men.
The study provides an insight into how decisions are made in the workplace and the key differences in the approaches adopted by men and women. Whilst women seem more inclined to use hard facts when making decisions about their own careers, they use their gut instinct when making decisions about others.
Significantly fewer women than men are sceptical about the value of psychometrics. Whilst 34% of men say that they would be put off using them because they don’t believe they work, only 25% of women share this view. Women are also less likely to see them as too time consuming, expensive or complicated.
Dr Robert McHenry, CEO of OPP, comments: “We might anticipate a slight difference in the way men and women make decisions about people in the workplace, but what these figures show is a significant and consistent divergence in approach. Common sense dictates that leaving the course of one’s career to luck or convenience is a dangerous path to choose, but a startling amount of men seem comfortable with this. As they mature into more senior positions and start line managing others though, it seems women are guiltier of basing major decisions on rocky foundations, putting faith in gut instinct over more robust approaches such as psychometrics.
“The net effect is a workplace in which surface perception and hunches dominate decision making about people. At a time when the economy is forcing many of us to make tough calls about our careers and the careers of others, we need to take a more rigorous approach and employ the kind of ‘due diligence’ we would in any commercial decision. The wrong choices about human resources can cost organisations millions and blight the careers of individuals, so we all need to get better at demanding consistent measurement and objective, reliable information – the kind that psychometrics deliver so cost-effectively.”
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Editor’s notes –
About the research
The research quoted above was undertaken amongst 553 line managers and 1,002 general workers in the UK. The research was undertaken in May 2009.
OPP is an international business psychology consultancy. It uses psychometric tools to unlock the true potential of your workforce.
OPP’s experienced consultants work with clients in the areas of personal and leadership development, team building, selection, skills and performance assessment. It offers leading personality assessment tools, including MBTI Step I, MBTI Step II, 16PF, FIRO-B, and TKI.
OPP also supplies psychometric qualification training, including BPS-accredited certification in Level A and Level B, and a range of applications workshops for HR professionals, psychologists and development practitioners.