According to this article, many employers are abandoning their old-school emphasis on stereotypical male qualities like being assertive. Instead, they are now more focused on looking for great people skills, a quality more often associated with female employees.
Sounds good, but it's not necessarily making it easier for women to advance. The article cites a study by Lawrence Glick, a professor of psychology at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, in which "subjects were asked to rate job applicants vying for a managerial position. Women perceived as being more competitive were deemed competent for the job but also less sociable than other candidates, and thus less hirable. Competent men, however, were described as hirable even if they weren't socially adept."