“Radical Inclusion” means including – or at least listening and being civil to — those who disagree with us. That’s my next frontier.
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.
Have you ever seen people not only judge, but actually fear, a way of doing things different from their own way? I already knew that leaders may not think of women because they do not “look the part.” Now I know they may actually fear giving assignments and promotions to a woman. They have a harder time envisioning her succeeding. And they may fear that her different (feminine) approach will not get as good a result as the more common (masculine) approach.
The topic of gender diversity has lots of facets – many sub-topics and applications. I am willing to put in the work to design many different workshops and speeches. All forward my mission – to help create a world where both masculine and feminine strengths are valued and leveraged – and my vision – a world where gender diversity is the norm and organizations thrive as men and women succeed and lead together.
On a panel of authors, each of us spoke about the passion that drove us to write, the process of writing and the publishing process. The passion that drove me to write was that I wanted to change the shape of corporate America (more women at the top); to help men and women see why the needle has moved so slowly in getting more women to the top – and what it will take to achieve true gender diversity; and to make the path easier for women. Writing it was easy and fun. Publishing it was scary and hard at times. I birthed the book. It has made a difference. Should I birth more?
My son gave me a testimonial about how applying the principles of DifferenceWORKS may have saved a business. We often present those principles – appreciating rather than judging differences – to a situation involving one person who operates in a masculine way and another who demonstrates more feminine tendencies. His story involved two masculine men. Rather than strangle his business partner, my son recognized that his colleague was not wrong or defective, just different – and had strengths that were different but important.