Strategies to balance gender inequity at work.
Through comprehensive research and data collected over a span of 25 years, Annis (co-author: Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business, 2013) and Merron (Inner Freedom: Living Authentically the Life You Were Truly Meant to Live, 2013, etc.) pull back the shades on the question of gender inequality in the business world. Despite years of improved laws and access, women still hold far fewer positions of power than men. Traditionally, the effort to change this imbalance has focused on educating women to "adapt to the world of business, to take charge of their careers as men would, and to advance—no matter how inauthentic and uninviting it felt.” They concluded that in order to balance the gender equation, the focus must extend beyond what women should do to include men in the solution. Instead of forcing women to become more like men, the authors recommend embracing the differences they bring to the workplace, which offset and complement the strategies men have found useful and successful. Companies that have adopted this new idea of gender intelligence, the authors write, have found that "gender-blended teams start to create more innovative ideas, operate more effectively, and produce greater profitability." Annis and Merron effectively summarize the science buttressing the effectiveness of gender-blended teams, then move into the economic and personal benefits for companies and individuals who practice this technique. They discuss the role of leadership and the gradual spread of gender-intelligence ideas and practices around the globe. The fact that gender inequality still exists, particularly in economically developing nations, reinforces the authors’ contention that these theories desperately need to be put into practice.
Practical solutions to an age-old dilemma.