The Female Brain: Wired For Leadership

May 19, 2023
The Female Brain Blog Post


The Female Brain is Wired for Leadership

Everything about your brain - from the structure, to the chemical makeup, to the electrical function - predispositions you to be a great leader.

Mind Over (Gray) Matter

Women posses denser gray matter in key areas of the brain responsible for leadership capacities:

Higher gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex strengthens executive functions such as decision-making, impulse control, and emotional regulation. This combination of decision-making prowess and emotional intelligence creates a powerful foundation for effective leadership.

Denser gray matter in the hippocampus provides women with enhanced episodic memory and spatial navigation. This advantage allows women to recall past experiences and draw meaningful connections, analyze complex situations, consider multiple perspectives at once, and navigate through complex challenges with precision. 

Higher gray matter volume in the insula underlies women’s heightened emotional awareness, empathy, and interoception— awareness of internal bodily sensations. This is why women tend to have an easier time feeling and expressing their emotions while also accurately perceiving and responding to the emotions of others. 

Mirror Neuron on the Wall, Who is the Smartest One of All? 

Women possess a larger mirror neuron system and experience increased activation in brain regions associated with empathy and social cognition.

This sixth sense allows women to perceive the thoughts and feeling of others and understand the underlying emotional currents of certain situations. 

Enhanced mirror neuron activity activates the anterior cingulate cortex and the superior temporal sulcus areas if the brain, which enables women to accurately interpret nonverbal cues, better anticipate the needs of others, and build stronger and more meaningful relationships. This heightened sensitivity allows women to navigate complex social dynamics, establish rapport, and create more inclusive environments.

Bridging Gaps and Brain Hemispheres

The female brain exhibits stronger connections between the hemispheres, facilitating higher communication and integration across various brain regions.

This enhanced connectivity promotes holistic thinking, enabling women leaders to see the bigger picture, think creatively, and consider diverse viewpoints all at once. 

A Woman’s Intuition is Key 

Turns out, a woman's intuition is a real thing that modern neuroscience is just beginning to understand. 

Due to the denser gray matter in areas of the brain involved in intuitive thinking alongside stronger inter-hemispheric connectivity, women exhibit stringer "System 1" thinking, which is fast, automatic, and relies on heuristics and pattern recognition. This underlies women's ability to integrate emotional and sensory information into decision-making processes, enabling them to go beyond logic to make more empathetic and inclusive decisions for collective success. 

Want to dive deeper into the unique capacities of the female brain? Check out our Female Brain Mini Course here.