Tolerance beats intolerance, but it is merely “putting up with.” We must move to valuing and appreciating difference – not tolerating it.
A study two years ago suggested that having women on a team stimulates better results. A more recent study says, “Not so fast.” It suggests a deeper factor — the balance of yin (feminine) and yang (masculine) strengths.
Deaf, Blind, Biased – or Stumped? Why Leaders Don’t Respond to the Business Case for Gender Diversity
Why might the message about the value of diversity not be heard? Why might leaders hear it but not buy it? Why do men who do buy it not take effective action? These are not rhetorical questions. I have some ideas but I want your thoughts.
I am adding to my pile of studies showing that gender bias is real. This one shows that male biology students over-rated their male colleagues and under-estimated better performing women. This goes in the stack with Heidi vs Howard and Kristen Schilt’s work with 54 transgendered men. Do you know people who still question the existence of gender bias? Share these studies with them. Awareness of our biases is the first step in changing them.
Unconscious gender bias is the root cause of business’ slow progress in capturing the business benefits of gender diversity. Having unconscious bias is simply human as Shankar Vedantam shows in his book “The Hidden Brain.” It is hard to change ways we aren’t even aware we have been wired, taught or acculturated to think. Our approach starts with helping people understand and appreciate both masculine and feminine strengths – in men and women.
I am grieved by the news of another terrorist attack in Europe. I believe this is a symptom of a serious imbalance. It is a product of a culture that represses and covers its women – and so represses and dishonors all that is feminine. My commitment is redoubled – to do my small part in having people value both masculine and feminine, in themselves, in others, in our organizations and in our culture.