Thomas International, a leading global provider of people assessment tools such as psychometric assessments needed to raise its profile among senior business decisionmakers and HR heads. But with assessment tools having been around for many years, how could we make them particularly relevant and newsworthy now?
How We Helped
With larger companies having to report on their gender pay gap and being closely scrutinised about the number of women on their boards, women and leadership was a topic on the media’s and senior decisionmaker’s agendas. So we created a campaign which gave Thomas International ownership of the topic.
Using Thomas’ considerable expertise and resources our campaign proved definitively and scientifically whether or not there is a difference between successful male and successful female leaders, in terms of their personality traits and emotional intelligence. An area that has never been formally researched before.
We recruited 137 director-level female leaders who agreed to take part completed two of Thomas International’s assessments:
- The High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) – this identifies leadership potential by benchmarking their personality traits against those of successful leaders.
- The Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue) – which offers an accurate and objective way of measuring someone’s emotional intelligence within the workplace.
Their responses were benchmarked against a carefully matched male senior leadership sample, which Thomas already had in its database. For the first time, like-for-like female and male leaders could be compared.
The comparison found there are no differences between male and female leaders – they have the same traits; contrary to popular opinion female leaders are no more emotional or empathetic or less ruthless than their male counterparts. What the research found was that the difference comes from peoples’ reactions; when men and women show the same leadership traits they are judged differently, and this disadvantages women.
To make this complex research accessible we invented the phrase ‘gender jaundice’ as a neat ‘sound-bite’ way to encapsulate the problem facing women during their rise to the top.
Energy PR rolled-out the campaign in multiple phases. These included:
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