I’ve been away for the last fiscal quarter, transforming my life, falling in love and marrying the man of my dreams, my soul mate and my perfect counter-part in terms of how men and women need to relate. Having studied gender dynamics now for over four years (and probably the whole of my life truth be known) I knew when I met Jim last November, he was the man for me.
Jim is a highly intuitive gentle guy yet has a magnificent strong business presence. He doesn’t mind being emotional and yet he can be directive when needed. He is, for me, my gentle male (FM) counterbalance to my strident logical business persona (MF) now softened by his love. Could all men relate to women as he does to me? He allows me to be an empowered business women yet I can work side by side with him, equal in bravado, sensitivity and creative presence. We have a dynamic communication style and differing opinions still the counterbalance engages positive end results. Is this the way forward for boardroom balance and harmony between men and women I wondered?
Jim and I are a prime example of the possibility of productive harmony and creative success between men and women – can our learning apply to the boardroom I wondered?
Eager to get the news update on the EU commission’s pretentious attempt to sort the ‘women in the boardroom’ conundrum that has beset the world of businessmen across the corporate landscape, I read the latest review;
Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner, says: “The European Union has been successfully promoting gender equality for over 50 years (my emphasis). However, there is one place where we have not seen any progress: company boardrooms.” Sadly it’s still being diluted – read the full article … if we can’t crack the ‘women in the boardroom’ maybe we should consider a new blueprint at the top? Why not? Men – and women who appear comfortably complacent in their high positions, to a lesser degree – are singing the same old song … you know the words so sing along with me … “it takes time darling.” Meanwhile nothing …and I mean NOTHING … changes!
Disappointment swamps me and I cannot believe the lack of progress we have made since 2008 when Lehman Brothers went down and the cry for more women went up! That was the first time I realised that the higher a woman climbed, the more oppressive the gender restrictions placed on them became. Essentially, the prevailing wisdom is (and we know whose wisdom prevails) … one of the qualifications for a space on the board is a candidate’s natural ability to produce testosterone. I always kind of knew this, but now that gender diversity has impacted the balance sheet, the issue has become a major agenda item without solution. It will never resolve while business stays on the same tracks as the last century, a century designed by men for men. We need to re-design the playing field (men and women together) for the players we now have, not push women upwards by the same old route towards the same old goals.
Even in the light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – that mixed tops teams and boardroom make good business senses – men and women continue to drag their feet.
Surely we need a new partnership between men and women. We no longer have the luxury of being able to play the numbers game… surely in today’s world, our goal should be to focus on what the customer needs… and believe me … the global and local customer is mainly female!