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root cause

The conversation about gender diversity (aka gender balance, gender equity and gender equality) needs to go deeper. As Joseph Keefe, CEO of Pax World Investments, declared the business case for gender diversity is so settled that we can stop talking about it. We know it’s good for business and good for the world. Yes, there is progress in seeing more women at leadership levels in business; but the pace remains glacial. We need to understand the reasons at the deepest level – so we can pick up the pace and capture those known benefits.

I want to bring focus to the root cause of the glacial pace. I was pleased to be invited to post a blog on the LSE Business Review, the blog site for the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). I took the opportunity to try to express my thoughts on the root cause.

I focus a lot on the forms of unconscious bias (or mind-sets) that show up in workplace behavior – the “double bind,” gendered definitions of leadership and the “comfort principle” to name a few. There is one mind-set that lies beneath all of these – the root cause. It is the cultural preference for masculine over feminine ways of thinking and working. I argue that, if we restore a balance in our value for both masculine and feminine ways, we will start in motion a virtuous cycle that unleashes the power of gender diversity.

To value both, we must understand both. That is my work! Please click the link, read the piece and let me know what you think!