When I was doing research for my book five years ago, I ran into one of the most critical factors in understanding gender communication. Research showed , that yes… men and women are wired differently; that yes, our brains do function in a “different way” and yes, we have natural propensities in the context of our gender that if understood, help explain why gender integration is good for business.
As scientists look at the way the brain works, they concluded that gender integration produces complementarity, the capacity for men and women to bring the best they have to offer, with passion and empowerment. Each can perform from their own strength and produce great results.
I just read this article that further ratifies not only the research we used in our book- Can You Afford to Ignore Me? But also our claim as it relates to our work. There is a need to debunk old perceptions and stereotypes. Science is leading us to finally understand the how and the why gender parity is a good thing!
Enjoy the read. Let’s talk!
It’s always gratifying to read about a situation you predicted more than 4 years ago. It is also frustrating to realize not much has changed.
When I wrote Can You Afford To Ignore Me?, one of the issues I point out is that women and millennial men and women entering the work force have always looked at work beyond compensation. And, one of the contributing factors to cause them to walk away from their job was burnout which implies a feeling of not seeing a future for themselves at their job based on the expectations and conditions associated with a 24/7 connectivity. I will keep asking you this question can YOU afford to ignore this? This article illustrates my point really well enjoy the read.
Its so fun when women and men decided to assert themselves and ask the big questions Can You afford to Ignore me? It always helps when the question is the title of your book!
I had the best time at our event hosted by FWA and Chapman and Cutler LLP. We were in the heart of New York , surrounded by 61 women and one brave man who despite the really bad weather decided to take the time to learn more about how they are will no longer be ignored. The first part of the program was to put some practical tools in their professional development kit.
The second part was a fantastic time answering questions and clarifying doubts or perceptions that keep all of us stuck and feeling ignored. It never fails when you get to witness “aha” moments that continue to confirm we are on the right path.
I’m the luckiest women in the world- having the opportunity to meet fantastic women, fully engaged in their professional career and interested in supporting others to do the same.
No, They Can Not Be Ignored!
You and I claim that we are fair, impartial, and free from stereotypes and biases.
Science and research shows it is impossible to be free from natural propensities that make all of us fall into what is called default thinking. Default thinking is a place we go as a consequence of our upbringing, cultures, and yes the way our brain works.
So the first thing about getting real is to understand that it is of human condition to be biased! There you have it!
In order for us to function in a world that subjects us to a 11 million pieces of information at any time, we need to use filters such as: perceptions, interpretations, preference, and selective attention. These are called mental heuristics. The tricky part of this is that many times this process yields wrong or less than desirable outcomes. In my work of gender integration, this issue is pivotal. Unless we get to talk about the elephant in the room and develop some type of oversight to keep an attentive eye where “the elephant” wants to go, we will lose this battle.
My work helps both men and women understand, become aware, and develop an inner voice dialogue that tempers the natural propensity to jump into generalities and perceptions that keep everyone stuck! This is the reason I wrote my book.
The second thing we want to do is to reframe the way female attributes are described and devalued by both men and women, as desirable yet not a part from what the business world “needs”. Funny since collaboration, empathy, good listening skills, are attributes that come at the top of the list of what is described as core competencies needed to navigate and succeed in the new global economy. So let’s start to praise these characteristics and talk about them without hesitation.
The third thing we need to do to get real is to understand that professional development programs need to be adapted to the gender nuances that help everyone debunk gender biases and stereotypes. This is what yields gender integration. The so called “universal” principles of leadership have to be experienced and articulated with a voice of authenticity and credibility. I get to witness those transformative moments, when people get real, when they become aware and experience their own AH-HA moment! Priceless!
I find it useful to end with a good read. This is a great article helps illustrate my point- Enjoy!
The Big Idea: Before You Make that Big Decision….
We continue to read articles that discuss why women are good for business- take a look at the recent article from HBR: Study: Firm with More Women in the C-Suite are more Profitable, and then we continue to read that numbers are not improving!
I’m sure we are all feeling a little “Gender Fatigue!” All talk, no action.
So let’s start a productive discussion to get us out of this sticky floor and into action with real traction.
It’s interesting when you read the current gender discourse we can almost predict the “buzz phrases.” As if by reiterating what we know to be true things wouldchange!
The reality is that we are suffering what I call a collective Inattentional Blindness… Focusing on one “approach,” talking and writing, but missing the obvious… FIXING the problem.
That is where we come in. We have been dealing with the obvious – fixing the problem for more than 10 years and have hundreds of stories to share.
Our intention with this blog is to help you start to see the obvious and move gender integration forward.
There is a great video on YouTube by Simon and Chabris that exemplifies what we have been doing – focusing on ideas and “perceptions” that fail to address the obvious. Men and women are different and there is a lot for us to talk about how these differences do enhance business performance! Stay tuned and watch the video… I’m here to help you see the Gorilla!
President Obama just pushed the envelope closer to debunking one of the most critical and frustrating factors in keeping the so called Glass Ceiling “alive” -lack of pay parity.
That private sector continues to be hesitant in solving this issue in a way that makes no business sense!
Stay tuned to my blog coming up this month titled “Get Smart- Pay Smart.”
For now here is a great read, and here is my challenge to you… Fix this issue. Make this Monday Morning memorable. Make the big announcement, take the big step and watch what happens not only to the women in your organization, but also to your new generation of leaders. Remember the millennials are watching!
This is a great article that reports progress and continues to cry for numerical improvement and hopefully a higher degree of urgency as it pertains to women on boards.
We continue to try to fix strategic problems with tactical solutions. To appoint a competent woman to a board is good thing. To develop a comprehensive plan to educate and train both men and women about readiness and the business case for gender balance is the way to go.
We need to go through the “basics”- the why, the how, the process – so that change happens organically, based on conviction and with the certainty that everyone really “knows” what is at stake when we miss getting the right “mix” and what we gain when we do.
I’m thrilled these type of articles are becoming part of our daily read, stay tuned to out LinkedIn Group launch…Can You Afford to Ignore Me?… We will be posting our first 5 topics soon!
Spread the word!
It’s been an incredible two weeks!
Another great article in the New York Times – this one about the most influential forum in the business community, Davos – is taking on gender integration as part of their agenda!
It is music to my ears and it should be music to yours as well, if you feel frustrated with how little traction gender balance has in your organization or enterprise.
This article restates that which we all know. The important takeaways for me and you are:
1. The topic is elevated to be front and center of a very strategic business venue.
2. The narrative is about understanding the potential and real financial impact of having homogenous teams constantly make decisions on behalf of multicultural and diverse clients and customers.
3. Share this “news” with those who are still pushing back or missing the point. Remind them that…
“You are leaving money on the table when you lack gender integration”!
Education and persistence is the best antidote for complacency and hubris!
So there you have it…
We launch the Can You Afford to Ignore Me LinkedIn Group by the end of this month! Stay tuned.
In the last ten days I have posted three articles from either Financial Times or New York Times, related to women in the workforce. I’m so thrilled by all this free publicity for my work and book!
The Financial Times has a great editorial written by Martha Lane Fox, chair and founder of Dotevery-one.org.uk, titled “Gender Equality in the Tech Sector will Benefit the Global economy.”
She points out – as I do in my book – the inevitable truth that any business endeavor that is missing the input of half of the population, is missing its capacity to be truly competitive.
Think about it. How can you claim that your product or service is designed or manufactured to “delight” “everyone”, when the creative and developmental process was most probably lead by a homogenous group? Have you heard of group think? Anchoring?
This is why our work is so relevant and vibrant… we help EVERYONE debunk biases and stereotypes.
Stay alert to our posts coming up at the end of the month in our LinkedIn group.
For now enjoy the read and lets all get moving…Gender Integration is good for business- and yes it’s for everyone!
Yesterday I read another great article that highlights a lot of what you and I have read before… So why am I posting this article that sounds like a really well written “broken record”?
Because I want to keep your attention. Because, Gender Integration is the most important conversation that you and I will have this year and because I want you to start to develop “gender fatigue.”
Gender fatigue is that place when we get so tired of listening and reading the same thing, that we decide to do something. And, may I suggest the something is done with rigor and a clear path towards solutions..
We are starting our LinkedIn Group discussion at the end of this month- look for our group – Can You Afford to ignore Me?
Our topics will be developed following the schema we use in our work to get you to understand and implement sound solutions to the problems mentioned in this article and in my book.
Stay Tuned and Join us!