Fortune has an interesting analysis of men and women and decision making.
In an interview with Jack Welch in the late 1980s, I challenged him about his strategy to make GE No. 1 or No. 2 in all its markets-or get out. At the time Welch was working hard to reinvent the company, which desperately needed it. He could ill afford public doubts about what became a guiding principle. As I pressed him on the subject, the GE legend lost it and stomped out of the room. He did come back-and we ended up having a four-hour talk. Some years later, when I interviewed Marjorie Scardino, the CEO of Britain's Pearson, I ended up talking about myself. The difference is not merely one of personal quirks. After 25 years of interviewing CEOs, I can say definitively: Men love to lecture, women like to listen.
Lots of interesting research is quoted that, of course, isn't provided for us to look at. So I'll rely on my own experience for this one.
I've worked for bosses of both sexes that were all across the board, but there is one major thing I have noticed. Men tend to be more direct and women tend toward consensus building. This leads to problems when people focus more on work style than on outcomes. I once worked in a department where a newly promoted female leader was criticized for being too chatty and not doing enough work, even though she hit all her milestones and performed quite well. When I got the chance to work with her, I realized her management style relied heavilty on feedback and consensus. Because she didn't sit alone in her office all day (which was the de facto standard to show you were a good worker) she wasn't perceived as working.