Discussions of gender diversity often involve stereotyping. I avoid that. Both men and women have and use both masculine and feminine approaches. I use prototypes to create a common understanding of masculine and feminine. I present workshops with a male colleague; we illustrate the point that we both move along the masculine-feminine continuum. Gender diversity in leadership is good business not because women have magic. It is because there is more likely to be a balance of masculine and feminine approaches. The business gets the advantages of both.
Masculine and feminine expectations about workplace relationships are different. Differences in brain structure, hormones and cultural influences explain these differences. The masculine approach is less intimate and personal than the feminine. There are advantages and limitations of both approaches. The masculine approach s allows one to work with someone you don’t like. It separates business and personal issues. Conflict is less personal. The feminine approach is warmer and contributes to trust and workplace community (important to younger generations). The masculine approach can seem cool and disregard personal aspects of business issues. The feminine approach can inappropriately mix personal and business issues and make workplace conflict more personal.