Historically, we have lived in a patriarchal society where men dominated the business world and women fought to be recognised as equals. Some may argue that positive discrimination towards women then came into play, but in this day and age simple focus on talent, experience and personality should trump any gender bias to generate success for businesses.
Stereotypically, male employees were supposed to be more successful in financial or engineering roles excelling at factual spreadsheets, cutting head count and singular focused tasks. Women were predisposed to nurturing, mentoring and playing supportive roles requiring emotional understanding. It is of course true to say that particular industries are still dominated by one or the other gender.
It’s additionally true to say that there are minute anatomical differences in the brain that are gender specific. For instance, the Corpus Callosum is a bundle of nerves that attaches the 2 hemispheres and is larger in women. It is thought that this means females use both hemispheres for problem solving whereas men usually only use one.
Women generally have a better ability to use language to build relationships and communication. Women are also notorious for being good multi-taskers and according to Professor Stephen Lawrie, researcher from Edinburgh University, women are much swifter at recalling faces, events, names and objects compared with men.
Men, on the other hand, can be better risk-takers and are more decisive at times, but are generally tougher on themselves. Men are innately more confident than women and are more likely to seize opportunities that excite them no matter what their qualifications represent and if indeed they fit the bill at all. Setbacks are short lived, criticism is brushed off and failure is externalised.
It’s what’s inside that counts
It’s quite astonishing how malleable the brain really is however, in terms of its ability to change and adjust depending on our experiences. Our genetic coding plays a crucial role but is shaped by our chemical make-up, the environment we live in and our cultural and social upbringing. Ultimately talent, personality and expertise are far better indicators of a successful employee than gender whatever the industry and for that reason I believe gender simply doesn’t matter.
First and foremost, it’s crucial for businesses to recognise the importance of personality when building their teams and driving the business forward. Most jobs can be learnt within a short space of time, but having people in your workforce who you know will fit in and get on with others at ease, will keep the team morale high as well as retaining positivity at a consistent level.
Individuals who are considered talented in a business need to be managed and supported and their talents recognised and nurtured for the business to operate in a proactive and strategic way and for employees to achieve their full potential. At the same time having an in-depth understanding of competitors and market conditions, image and future trends within the industry assists talent management.
Expertise can logically be taught. We learn and become experts through experience. As we become experts our ability to create, articulate, solve problems, develop concepts, make decisions, present ideas, gather and analyse information, and strategise and formulate plans improves. By harnessing and developing the skills of employees against appropriately profiled roles, businesses are able to meet workforce plans. Our gender is of no relevance here.
Much has changed over the years with an ever growing demand for stronger female presence in business and whilst we shouldn’t need to emasculate men in the process, we need to reassure ourselves that we truly complement each other in business and that in actual fact, gender should just be taken off the table all together.
Nurture your team
Invest in your workforce and strengthen their inherent skills. Take time to nurture different personalities and talents through regular training, mentoring and recognition of their personal goals and provide opportunities to progress within the organisation.
Who is getting the pay rise?
Pay grading should purely be considered based on merit, showing no distinction between gender. Instead, ensure you recognise appropriate value and praise where it is due to reinforce motivation and enthusiasm in your workforce.
Promote gender equality in your business
Publicising your efforts to promote gender equality demonstrates your business’s dedication to employing equality in the workplace. As well as this being an attraction to employees, it may also feed interest to other organisations to follow in your lead.