Rather than posting the next piece in my series on roots of masculine and feminine differences in the workplace (in nature and nurture), I just have to pause. This is just too big a week not to stop and put in my blog what I’m feeling about the publication of my book. People say it’s like having a baby. I have two children, one grandchild and one on the way. There are analogies and differences. The gestation period for this book was nearly 3 years, not 9 months. I had more of an idea of what the book would look like than with my babies and more of a hand in creating it. As with giving birth, though, I didn’t really know what it would look like until I had it in my hands. The labor was hard at times, easy at times. Most important, I undertook the labor for a very deeply held purpose. I really wanted my children—and my family is a bright spot in my life. I really wanted this book—because I want to make a difference.
I became interested in “gender differences” when I was the first woman C-level executive at my company. I became a champion for women in the business world. I mentored and sponsored women in my company and was active in the Women’sVision Foundation. At first it was because it was a good thing for women. But my purpose expanded as I learned how important gender diversity is for business. In my blogs, I’ve covered the business case for gender diversity.
But my purpose is deeper than just helping business improve retention, productivity and profitability. My purpose is to help businesses retain people who love their work and thrive (are “engaged”). As I said in an earlier blog, A Gender-Balanced Workforce: Why It Really Matters, I’d like to contribute to the existence of more satisfied, fulfilled people at work. But the contribution I want to make is ultimately because of what happens when businesses have engaged, thriving work-forces.
Businesses with engaged people not only get better results. They have better ethics. They are the best community citizens. And they do the most good in areas that challenge our world—including the sustainability of the global economy, reducing poverty and malnutrition, improving and protecting the environment, making peace and ending human trafficking and slavery.
Only in the last page of my book do I reveal this ultimate purpose. I say, “It is my conviction that appreciating difference, engaging difference, and leveraging difference will create successful businesses that will make a better world for my grandchildren.” The book is out. May it make a difference!