"Not to generalise but women seem to have a better capacity than men do, partly because of their socialisation," Obama said at an invitation-only event during a visit to Paris.
He didn't mention any particular male leaders who are currently having problems but spoke of "the importance of more focus on putting women in power, because men seem to be having some problems these days.
Obama was responding to a question about leadership qualities for the future, at the event organised by a network of communications professionals known as "Les Napoleons".
The two-term Democrat president said he appreciated people who question themselves and those around them.
"How can I make the people around me better? How do I empower them... how do I build a team where everyone's pulling together to get something done?" Obama said.