Women are better leaders! Well, ok, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration.

But a professor of business studies at Saïd Business School, Oxford has recently suggested that women are perhaps better suited to run large organisations than men.

Who knew?

An endorsement for the sisterhood from the apparently dusty-fusty world of dreaming spires.

Tim Morris and his team interviewed 152 chief executive officers worldwide for a recently published report.

Surprise, surprise, they found that the days of ‘pyramid command and control structure’ – with stereotypically ‘masculine properties’ such as decisiveness and overt commanding strength – are much more successful when complemented by typically female qualities of collaboration and empathy.

Amazing that a balanced approach to leadership could be healthy . . .

Anyway, the upshot seems to be that, ladies, finally – in case you didn’t get the Millennium Memo – the age of the alpha-bitch is well and truly over.

One commenter noted that the generation of female leaders who came up in the Eighties by “acting more like men” (just think former PM Margaret Thatcher for the ultimate example) is gone.

Ding dong, the shoulder pads (those indicators of women’s power dressing) are dead.

A key to great leadership is trust - and the perfect way to instil trust is to have open communication, collaboration and the alignment of words and deeds – all traits that female leaders tend to do excellently.

Let’s be fair here: plenty of men have these traits too.

I have over the years responded positively to them in a work (and home) environment.

But it sounds a lot juicier to make this a men-against-women campaign.

Whichever gender tends to display these skills most, this skill-set massively encourages good leadership.

And, it is noted that this good leadership can more than double a company’s performance.

Again, none of this comes as a great surprise, especially to me.

I have long been nurtured and guided by positive females.

I am the product of three mothers (it’s a long story).

I work in an office with only one male colleague and with four astoundingly supportive female seniors.

(True, they may well read this, but I would say it even if they couldn’t).

Our working environment is friendly and lively and I walk into work each morning feeling that I’m amongst people who – should I need it – would fully support me.

This trust is the product of two things.

Firstly, it’s an open communication and collaborative environment, incorporating discussions ranging from some of the largest decisions within the organisation, right down to the all-important organisation of the Christmas drinks party planning.

We all have a sense that we can feed into ideas and upcoming strategies – our ideas will at least be heard – and we have a supportive environment in which to air those ideas.

And secondly, the most valued feeling for me at work is that of empathy.

I genuinely feel that I can admit to some ridiculous weakness – even a personal flaw – and it will be met with understanding.

It’s like the knowing nod you sometimes see in mothers talking about childbirth: I understand what you’re going through, I know what it is to live, to be human in this crazy world.

Your kid is sick and you’re worried? Work from home. You’re feeling overwhelmed because you have to find a place to live in a hurry?

Let’s have a coffee together and laugh for 20 minutes to de-stress.

Employers of the past may have cringed at this softly-softly approach.

But what this apparent “weak” leadership does is foster some amazing levels of loyalty in employees.

Remember as a youngster – and I’m sure it’s not just me – you would choose a slipper on the bottom any day of the week over your dad shaking his head and mumbling: “I’m disappointed in you”, right?

No way are you going to turn around and screw over an employer who supports you every day.

You are much more likely to work harder and with more conscience trying to be the employee they’ve put their belief and resources in.

Regardless of gender – that’s great leadership.