There is a major shift occurring in the workforce and women are at the centre of it. For several decades now, women have fought for equality in the workplace. But one has to remember that even though more women have entered the workforce and have risen in the ranks, they haven’t become male clones.
Men are told to think like a woman and women are told to act like a man.
Indeed men and women are as different in the professional world as they are in their personal lives. There are some really clear dividing lines between men and women when it comes to brain psychology, which influences motivations and reactions to things like stress.
Studies have revealed that women are unhappier at work than men, largely because they don’t feel appreciated, respected or included by male colleagues and bosses (I myself after serving in a male dominated organisation can second this feeling!!)
As a result men feel confused about women’s frustrations and women feel discouraged. Actually men do not give a lot of feedback to women, whereas women want to build relationship and trust with the people they work with. Male bosses often don’t get that, so women end up not feeling appreciated.
It may be surprising for our male colleagues that women react to teasing and criticism very differently from men. When a boss yells at one of his female employees, she takes it very personally; she goes home and thinks about it.
Taking things to heart may be a phrase that encapsulates a primary difference between men and women at work. Women invest her emotions in the work whereas men seem to assume and accept that the workplace is a competitive environment, and it includes delivering and receiving verbal jabs.
According to available research, here are some strengths of each gender in the workplace:
1. They’re team players. Women leaders are typically judged as more supportive and rewarding, whereas men are judged better at behaviours such as delegating and managing up. According to studies, women demonstrate higher levels of compassion and team building skills.
2. They like a challenge. A 2009 international study by Accenture found that 70 percent of businesswomen asked their bosses for new challenges at work, compared to less than half of businessmen polled.
3. They’re more inclined to bring in all points of view and thus they ask many questions to get things clearly and to ensure that there is no room for any kind of confusion. While men do not tend to ask many questions on the job given to them.
1. They’re early adopters of technology and tend to rely on technology more than their female counterparts.
2. They’ll ask for what they want. Men demonstrate strength in negotiation.
3. They make friends in high places. Men score more promotions than women, and that may be explained by who they mingle with in the office.
According to Harvard Business Review paper, ‘Why Men Still Get More Promotions than Women’, this is because men are more likely to be mentored by senior executives, whereas women are more likely to have junior-level mentors.
This difference is an issue of access. Both men and women build social networks comprised of people of the same gender. As upper management still tends to be male dominated, this places men in a better position to receive promotions from their mentors.
Well to bridge the gap at the workplace, there’s equal learning that has to happen on both sides. There can be five minutes conversations just to check in the whereabouts of each other. Men think that women are slowing down the work by talking about things.
But men have to understand that it can save you from making mistakes. Women want to explore more details before making decisions. When men are stressed, they take actions. When women are stressed, they ask more questions.
Any organisation has to strike a balance between both the genders to progress ahead without any setbacks.
Gender intelligence is the word!!