The former US President was speaking at a closed-door event in Paris when he was asked about the qualities required for leadership.
“Not to generalize but women seem to have a better capacity than men do, partly because of their socialization.
He added: “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?”
It appeared to be another jab at Mr Obama’s Republican successor, Donald Trump.
A few days ago Mr Obama urged the 45th President to “think before you tweet”, following his widely condemned decision to share far-right videos posted by Britain First.
And earlier this month he joked he really had been born in Kenya, poking fun at Mr Trump’s past support for the “birtherism” conspiracy theory.
Mr Trump has struggled to pass significant legislation in his first year and faces unrelenting scrutiny over alleged links between his campaign team and the Kremlin.