Do you think that leadership that incorporates masculine and feminine strengths can benefit men as well as women?
Having a woman set to represent a major political party in the race for the U.S. presidency is historical. I wish this could be the only way gender is a factor. How much of her low favorability ratings do you think are driven by unconscious gender bias?
One major obstacle for women in the workplace goes by many names – the double bind, a tightrope, the Goldilocks thing. Call it what you will, it is a lose-lose proposition for women. They are criticized for being too feminine and too masculine. How do we bring down the “Goldilocks thing”?
A recent conversation brought to mind how people are missing the mark in trying to achieve gender diversity in leadership. I heard more about (a) how people understand the business value of gender diversity, (b) they don’t know how to get it, and (c) they are still trying to “fix” women instead of eliminating the barriers to gender diversity. How can we shift the focus from “fixing women” to bringing awareness to unconscious gender biases?
Unconscious gender bias doesn’t’ appear exclusively in the corporate world. As illustrated by a true story a friend recently told me, it resides in small business, too. Our unconscious (and gendered) images of leadership are everywhere. In a family business, a woman who had worked for years was passed over when the founder retired — by a much less experienced, but male, relative. How can we broaden our “pictures” of leadership?
She is “helpful” but “too assertive.” He “shows initiative” and “solves problems.” Research shows that the language used in performance reviews for men and women is very different. The language clearly reflects underlying gender bias. Can making managers more aware of their language actually uproot and change gender biases?