Let’s just get right into this.
After examining their database of 2,800 executive evaluations globally, the Egon Zehnder team found that men tended to outscore women on five of seven competencies that companies more typically use to evaluate managers — criteria such as strategy, change management and understanding the market. Women outperformed men on collaboration and developing other individuals and teams.
Couple of quick things that pop out here:
- 2,800 isn’t a bad sample size.
- I love how the categories men outperform women in are the vaguest business bullshit possible. “Strategy?” Most guys don’t know what “strategy” is. They confuse it with operations. “Change management?” You mean the thing most guys avoid to make sure their perch isn’t threatened? That thing? “Understanding the market?” You mean hiring consultants? OK.
- I personally think “collaboration” can be kind of a forced-on-us BS thing in a lot of companies, but it’s nonetheless important.
- Now get to the end of the paragraph: “developing other individuals and teams.”
- Uh, isn’t that the essence of management? Or shouldn’t it be?
- And yet, Sheryl Sandberg be damned, we have this huge dichotomy around how we view women in the workplace.
- (And how we pay them.)
- What gives?
What gives, yes?
The standard basics:
“Work is a man’s world.”
“This is how we’ve always done things.”
“We had to promote Jim because he plays golf with the other top boys. Maria can’t do that.”
It’s all the typical bullshit.
These ideas are evolving, but it may take another generation or two to “get there.”
The great irony of all this
As automation rises up + business models become increasingly unclear, you could argue we increasingly need empathy in companies. In fact, more empathetic companies show more revenue growth in some cases.
I know some empathetic men (I’d like to self-identify as that), but in general, women are more empathetic. It’s hard to argue that one.
So isn’t that another reason that more female leaders would be a good thing?
My life is part of the global life
I’d found myself becoming more immobile
When I’d think a little girl in the world can’t do anything
A distant nation my community
A street person my responsibility
If I have a care in the world I have a gift to bring
I would love a world where more managers thought that way: “If I have a care in the world, I have a gift to bring.” It seems to me females are better at understanding that notion, and bringing it out in others. Most male managers would bellow, “If you have a care in the world, I don’t want to hear about it until those KPIs are hit!”
We need a sea change on all this. Yes?