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A look at what motivates men and women

Employees who are motivated reduce the company’s hiring costs. They are more productive and increase bottom-line performance. The workplace is diverse and managers or team leaders should be aware of how to motivate each individual. 

Before digging deeper into each staff member’s core motivator, let’s stereotype males and females together in the workplace to see what motivates each gender. These are guidelines and will deviate because we are all unique at the end of the day. Research, however, indicates that it depends on the individual and not necessarily on race, gender, background, etc. 

Various research, studies, and articles broadly indicated that a majority of women and men in the workplace have different things that drive them to succeed. Bearing in mind that success also has different meanings to different people. Climbing the corporate ladder might seem to one as becoming successful, another might feel successful when they achieve flexibility in the workplace for example when they own their own small business.  


  • Women are more driven by emotion.
  • They are more people orientated and show empathy easier than their male counterparts. 
  • They want a more balanced lifestyle and flexibility to be able to multi-task work and home. 
  • They prefer team work and affiliation generally motivates women.
  • There is a strong need for regular recognition. They want to feel respected and appreciated.
  • Creativity and a fun filled work environment inspires them. 


  • Men need to feel in control. They are motivated when they feel powerful.
  • When there is a chance for personal advancement and growth, they will take it.
  • Men like deadlines and are goal orientated.
  • They prefer being in a leadership role and being promoted is key. 
  • Men prefer traditional processes and practices. 

“Different strokes for different folks” is a proverb meaning different things appeal to different people. This is very true when you look at what motivates each person. Some are motivated by money, and others are motivated by the sheer recognition of a job well done. Both men and women interpret and communicate information differently. At the end of the day, there are various factors to consider determining what drives each of us.