Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Enough about Gender Differences!

 I don't like the article I'm suggesting you link to, with, on(?) and I'm wondering what early or mid-career readers think about it. For me, the gender difference stuff has become overdone and irrelevant. This article sounds like diversity stuff from the late 1990s. It's not that the article doesn't have accuracy, but it's way outdated from my viewpoint.

Who has the combination of skills that are needed to pull off the job that has to be done is what's important. Most of us are now working in team and (hopefully) collaborative environments, which demand that the whole is worth more than its parts. Some technical people don't have good relationship skills. Some great communicators don't have good mathematical skills. Some rational problem-solvers have no creative sparks. Men are different from each other. Women are different from each other. Men and women are different from each other.

I'm beginning to think more frequently and intensely that the world needs to move on to more important issues related to workplace performance, management, GDP, productivity, measurement of success. How can we get more people to sign up for math and science degrees? What can we do to keep more kids in school and graduating from high school?  How can we move forward to brave the fact that work is often hard, a struggle yet challenging, stimulating, and rewarding. Life is stressful.

I was an early zealot about gender differences. My first book, Genderflex, Men and Women Speaking Each Others Language at Work, was based on research about gender differences in communication. That was 18 years ago! I'm an avid supporter of women, but lets focus on resources for support of education, achievement, accomplishment and success rather than the obstacles. Everyone has obstacles, either of their own making or of their business or personal environment. We can only change others by changing ourselves. HR can't do it. Legislation can't make it happen. We'll be valued for our skills when we don't NEED to be, even if we want to be.

This may be my last post about gender differences. Here are two other links related to the topic as an exit:



Still open to comments.

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1 comment:

  1. Judy--You sound like my friend Andrea Learned...another gender expert who has moved on the sustainability. And she lives in Seattle too.

    But I don't think it's quite time to move on completely. I was at a lunch where a credit union CEO (my passion these days) was speaking. Afterwards I asked him my standard question about training his front line to sell according to gender. Judy, he just didn't get it! Nice guy with a great reputation, but he still sees things through "gender neutral" eyes.

    Women executives have a good footprint in credit unions, but men still lead the large CUs, and their boards are certainly skewed male. As long as that holds forth...there will still be a need for "gender" awareness (for lack of a better word). And certainly there is a need for sales training geared to gender.

    I just found you on Twitter, which led me to your website. You were so supportive of me a decade ago to come to Houston and conduct those sales clinics for car dealers here. I can guarantee you that world still doesn't get it. And both my daughters live in Seattle, as well as my other "gender" expert buddy Andrea Learned. I look forward to connecting with you again soon.


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