Friday, July 30, 2010

(Wo)Men at Work

More women than men are graduating from university. Plenty of women fill middle management positions. Few women hold executive or board positions.

Sports teams recognise that each player brings different things to the game – different skills, strengths, experiences, approaches, attitudes – and from that they build much greater strength, something bigger than the sum of the parts. Not much sense having a team of goalies!

At work women are damned if they retain their difference, and damned if they conform to male-like behaviour. Repeated research shows that management is (unconsciously) biased towards people like themselves.

How much stronger might our businesses be if we learned to celebrate and harness the essential differences instead of ploughing on with the same-old same-old? How much more effective might our businesses be if CEO’s and boards sought out the difference and built a multi-talented, gender-balanced team?

Is it really so hard?

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