The survey of Scotland's councillors by the Scottish Local Authorities Management Centre found women elected to office secure more top jobs in councils run by Labour or Independents.
SLAMC notes Labour has adopted a positive strategy to encourage women while the Independents are free of any political party culture.
Only five of the 32 Scottish councils are led by women - when female representation of 25% among Scottish councillors suggests there should be eight.
The research team concluded: 'Where parties consciously choose to select women . . . or where party influence is lacking, women fare as well or better than men in Scottish local government.'