The only way forward for 2009 and beyond
A new business blueprint built on common-sense and gender dynamics
Economically, we’ve lost our way, and it’s time to draw up a new map. We need to plan our route all over again, determine what we will need along the way – emotionally and physically – and then lead from the front.
To do this we have to bring everyone with us: men and women. We’re in this economic crisis together and yet not only are fewer women in positions of power but more women than men are losing their jobs. How did we arrive at this point? Beginning with mercantilism and the Industrial Revolution, the blueprint that we have used for business has been a masculine one. Following it, we built the ships, sailed the waters, traded across cultures and boundaries and brought huge variations in material wealth. But we also brought ourselves to where we are today.
In essence, men’s roles have not changed much in 200-300 years but women’s have made a massive shift in just 60 years or so. However, as women entered this male-defined world they tended to adopt a working style that emulated that of men as the only way to get ahead. With the growth of technology defining how both genders work and communicate through computers and the internet, women have increasingly used more left brain patterns of working. There is even research that shows rising levels of testosterone in women and that typical female bodyshapes and behaviour are becoming more masculine. And although working patterns have changed the way females, and feminine nature, are valued by men and women, business has not always made the best of what is truly ‘feminine’, and predominately right brain working: this is often described as the ‘soft power’ element of business and deemed to be less valuable than the hard elements of operation and profit.
With the recession, we have a huge opportunity to change the main blueprint from masculine to a balanced collaboration of masculine and feminine dynamics and use the best of both.