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Forgoing the Power Trip
CNBC.com | October 10, 2011 | 11:33 AM EDT

"Women are good collaborators; we do it naturally," Corbelli says. "Even the most competitive women know how to create and motivate teams. Another thing I see is that working women who are mothers know how to get things done and move on to the next task."

It's not just women who see contrasts in boardrooms.

"I think women are better execs in that they aren't so afraid to speak up," says Bretton Holmes, who head up his own media relations firm in Austin, Texas. "Women tend to shoot more from the hip, I've found, while guys wait sometimes and the opportunity to say something may pass."

As can be expected, there are those who contend any differences between men and women are just style over substance.

"I think it's personalities more than genders that bring something to the power table," says Charley Polachi, a partner and co-founder of the executive search firm Polachi. "Women may be more sensitive to subtleties, but I really don't see all that much of a difference on how they use power."

But just getting a place at the executive table has not been easy for women. While they make up 40 percent of the global workforce, they represent less than 14 percent of the corporate executives at top companies, according to a recent report by the research group, Catalyst.

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