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Women Business Leaders in Vermont Is there a formula for their success?

What if a person’s hands contain the formula for success?  To test this, we looked at the  hands of twelve women business leaders in Vermont. Is there a common theme? Literally, do their hands and fingerprints contain clues to their rise to powerful positions in traditionally male dominated industries?

the hands of 12 VT women business leadersThe answer is yes. What is the recipe for effective leadership? Innovation, vision, drive, endurance and the ability to inspire others are key ingredients. Markers matching these traits were found consistently in the hands studied.  Add one more ingredient – “comic relief” – and you have captured the common threads among them.


The purpose and premise of the project

Janet Savage, Master Hand Analyst, invited 12 women leaders to share their hands and fingerprints for a pilot research project as part of a Human Hand Project to be launched in 2013.

The purpose of the Human Hand Project is to study the hands of individuals who have chosen a particular career path, e.g. nurses, artisans, scientists, farmers, with the aim of identifying common traits that reflect their choices. We will also test the theory that there are markers in the hands that point to possible challenges as they perfect their craft.  The premise of the research is that our hands and fingerprints contain a unique blueprint and personality archetype.  A combination of factors in any hand can suggest career direction, human potential, specific strengths and indicators of success in a particular vocational arena.


The system used

Hand Analysis is an innovative, thoroughly researched, non-predictive system of palmistry and fingerprint analysis.  Pioneered by Richard Unger, founder of the of the International Institute of Hand Analysis (IIHA), this system combines the ancient traditions of palmistry and the modern science of fingerprint analysis. After years of research in medical libraries and applied research testing his theories in over 50,000 pairs of hands, he started the IIHA in the early 1980’s.  His system continues to be tested and applied by Unger, the IIHA Master Teachers and the many hand analysts trained by the Institute.  It is commonly referred to as Scientific Hand Analysis.


The women

The 12 women were selected because they held leadership positions in traditionally male dominated business sectors.  The following business sectors include:

o        Policy Think Tank/Business Member Org., Director

o        Non-Profit Advocacy for Socially Responsible Businesses, Founder and Executive Director

o        Finance/Economic Development, CEO

o        Utility/Energy, CEO

o        Int’l Consumer Products Co., Director of Sustainability, Social Mission

o        National Food Co. Creative Director

o        National Food Co., Creative Director

o        Int’l Consumer Products Co., Director of Communications

o        Real Estate Development, CEO/Owner

o        Manufacturing – Green Energy, CEO

o        IT Business Service and Products, Senior Site Executive

o        Technology Research for Manufacturing Co., CEO


The results – Common Hand Markers

 Markers in Hands # of hands containing Marker Meaning Compared to sampling of non Biz leaders Comments/Potential Challenges
High Set Index fingers 11/12 (92%) High need for respect, will push for results to get that respect Looked at 500 hand prints in our data base 45% w/this marker Challenge: Can be “lonely at the top”.  Pushing for respect misses power dynamics?
Marks of an Inspirational Communicator, Change Agent(The “Healer”) 10/12 (83%) Possesses keen psychological insight, desire for good work in the world, a change agent w/the gift of inspirational communications  # Looked at 500 hand prints in our data base. Healer marks revealed in 65% + Challenge: interpersonal communications  crisis or in an enabling role
Large Critics Eye/Re-framer Zone  8/12 (67%) Looks critically at the a situation and can shift the perspective – thinks outside the box Looked at 500 hand prints in our data base.Critics eye revealed in 13% Challenge: Can have a strong inner critic or outer judgment of others
Short Life Line or Fate Line/Life Line Confusion    8/12 (67%) Driven, Busy, Devoted to Work Results Looked at 500 hand prints in our data base.Short Life Lines found in 38% Challenge: Can have Type A behaviors, difficulty staying present in the body, challenges in balancing personal and work life  x
Hand Shape:Air and Fire Elements Dominant   9/12 (75%) The combo translates to bright ideas, can act with passion and creative impulse and then regain perspective.Can also be the “Comedienne” – that is see the absurdity, lighten up at the end of the day,   another way to gain perspective. One of many combo hand archetypesAir and Fire representing 20% of database reviewed Challenge:Too many ideas, no follow through, scattered thinking – too many possibilities, critical, cutting.

# Inspirational communication:  Inspiring others to take action in their own behalf, inspiring them to seek the truth and to do and to be better

+The 65% is a higher number than in the public at large, since those seeking Hand Analysis are looking to heal/self actualize in some way and are on the whole seekers

xBased on questions about work, work history and lifestyle, I found that most of these women strive to create balance in work/life activities – could this be a positive female leader trait?


The results – Common Fingerprint Patterns

From the Fingerprints *Life School &Life Purpose # of Womencontaining Marker Meaning Compared to sampling of non Biz leaders Comments/Potential Challenges
 School of Service[The training ground or context for your life] 6/12 (50%) Desire to make an impact, to help, to serve mankind 20% of the population in general is in the School of Service Other Schools – Love, Wisdom  and PeaceChallenge: Can be controlling, overly committed, saying yestoo much, taken for granted thus resentful
 Life Purpose of Success and/or Power 9/12 (75%) The blueprint to lead & to understand what is required to get results; ability to stand your ground and take independent action Data sample reveals <30% have this Life Purpose or combo Challenge: Fear of Failure and/or power errors
 Life Purpose of Self Expression in areas of Innovation or Creativity  PLUS Power and Success # 6/12 (50%)Of these 6, 3 also had Success and/or Power as part of the Purpose The blueprint for reframing life through unique, creative expression.  Willingness to do it differently and to be in the spotlight. Data sample. <25% have this Life Purpose or combo Challenge of conforming,”selling out”, hiding out when criticized or underappreciatedChallenge: Fear of Failure and/or power errors

* For more on the meaning of the fingerprints and the research behind them, visit and the HandTales Blog []

# There are some who have multiple layers of their Life Purpose – in this case, the combo of Power+Success+Creativity or Innovation = Big Shot Individualists or Leading Innovators

One image of the markers from the hands studied.

Want a PDF of the full report including images

depicting the particular markers in the hands?

Contact me at


The Results in Summary

The results  show a preponderance of markers in the hands of these 12 women that point to natural leadership qualities.  Each trait appeared significantly more frequently in the hands of this sample of women than in the non-leader, data base of past clients of 3 Hand Analysts.

Hand markers and fingerprint patterns showing creativity and innovation abound – the critics eye, the Fire element in the hand shape, the Life Purpose piece of creativity, individuality and innovation.  The healer marks (or Inspirational Communicator) plus the Air element in the hands – denote a desire to inspire, to move people forward and to get to the truth through keen observation and insight and the ability to communicate a vision.  The high set Index fingers and short life lines indicate a level of drive and determination.  Add the Fire element again and you have spark and liveliness to spare.

And, finally, a person in the Life School of Service will benefit from all of these traits as they strive to truly make a difference in the World.


More questions and next steps

I remind the reader that this was a pilot project.  We hoped to determine if the hands of women business leaders in VT reflected specific traits that would lead them to positions of power in traditionally male dominated business sectors.  We feel we have done that.  Questions remain, however:

  • If the hands of male leaders in similar roles were analyzed, would the results be similar?
  • Does geography play a role with this group – Vermont vs California vs South Africa?
  • Will these finding translate to a larger sample of women in similar roles?


For more information or to contribute to our research:

Contact Janet Savage, the principle investigator at or 802-279-8554.  We are happy to answer questions, receive feedback and the hands of other women in similar leadership positions anywhere in the World.





5 thoughts on “Women Business Leaders in Vermont Is there a formula for their success?”

  1. Really interesting research Janet. Fascinating that 92% had high set index fingers.
    I wonder if you looked at all at Ambition lines, the size and angle of their thumbs, Jupiter stars and relative finger lengths.
    Congratulations on this fine piece of work and good luck with the rest of the project.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jena. We look at everything and took the most common markers among the women. When we get more subjects, who knows what we will find…..

  2. Janet – you’re a a woman after my own heart ! I love data and stats like this. Thanks for posting this and doing this work!


  3. I understand from the report that there are many other indications are observed, but certain features in most women were seen. Congratulations on this fine piece of work. Good luck with the rest of your project.

  4. Really interesting to look at this theme this way. Short life line : how special in this context !
    Get to reflect on that one. Many possibilities: beyond the small family… where is my tribe. anyway.. .. where do I belong… who is in this role… hi body, who are you ?… got to explore some more …
    Thanks Janet.

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