Engendering Belonging Across the Sexes in Our Business World
Overlooking or discounting half of the people, in, or available to your organization due to gender bias isn’t smart. In our company, we seek to use our differences regardless and sometimes in spite of our unconscious gender bias. Yeah, males and females approach things differently, and sometimes we look at the other side as if they are crazy. It’s at this point that we have to stop and change gears here, and this applies to both sides. Right, I know, easy for me to say, I’m a man. I’m really not being flippant here. When my brain twitches and says,” she’s just not getting it,” I stop and choose to rephrase it as, “what is she able to see that I’m not considering?”
Finding a better way to do something in business is the goal. That could be a better culture, a better product or a better service. Funny thing about this concept, there is no statement at all with respect to gender (or for that matter any of the other areas that can typically be discounted in bias or discriminated against).
So why is the bad business of gender bias still happening? We could point fingers and perpetuate this problem, but when this normally happens people tend to dig in their heels and feel more justified in their positions. Does the “why” really even matter at this point?
Men need to be part of that change. Change and grab onto the diversity for the sake of doing things better and in belonging, and because it’s just the right thing to do. We’re lucky on this one, and here I’m referring to men. The “right thing to do” is the humanly better and more profitable thing to do. No one ever solved the problem by doing the same thing the same way, so that means change. In the men’s world versus the women’s world either side can only be half right.
Let’s work together and be thankful for each other’s strengths.
I originally wrote the this in a FB post in 2015 in response to a great read by Katie McCrory, Just like me? The snail’s pace of gender diversity in business.