Last week I was re watching ‘sex in the city’ and wondering whether men and women have really progressed in the world today from the emotional chaos and roller coaster ride that the women in this series have. OK it’s New York, but really there are tales told that could be told the world over. The delightful misunderstandings between men and women, the challenges, the joys and the sorrows.
It struck me that if we wish to co-create the world together, we need to recognise that we are two different cultures …men and women … and biologically we are different even if we have learned to co-exist in business neck and neck. In every merger and aquisition, the major failing is when the two cultures don’t recognise what their core values and personality traits are as different groups. Women have been merging into business for 60 years and now we’re have many variable opionions on the status quo. Of course the members of each culture is stereotyped in many incidences. It seems to me these confused stereotypes need revisiting not from an equality point of view but from a higher level human perspective, from a more conscious conversation about “what do we bring together, how can we work with a new paradigm that actually starts from a combined baseline that honours us all, our similarities and our defining differentials”.
Men and women are delightfully different as well as compatible and complementary. We are made to co-create this world…not just in terms of babies but in business, social harmony and ecological determination.
Women bring huge potential contirbutions to all aspects of business…..in several sessions last month, we asked women and men what did ‘women bring to the boardroom’ that was different to men and could add tangible value both emotionally and materially, to guide business forward in new ways. The list was long; some ideas were – empathy, mediation, new perspectives, flexibility, building relationships, rapport, client understanding, social responsibility and a generally people focused style. It is not that men cannot do these things, but they are often not as focused on these ‘softer’ elements, when they stay aligned to the hard directives they are used to. Hard and soft power are required today to create a balanced approach.
I feel it is key in today’s very fragile market (and world) that we combine what we do best – without any sides, without jibes, and say ‘ enough is enough’ we’re in this together…lets not play ‘games’ and snipe at each other as we often see in Parliament, and in the boardroom! The world requires a new ‘gender conversation’, one that looks at the meaning of our existence and the space we each occupy! Women are here in the workplace to stay – it’s not a them and us situation, it’s a ‘we’ result that will count!