Males and Females, Females and Males

Article added on 11 March 2013

March is the month of the year dedicating one day to women! Therefore, I cannot pass the date without a dissertation on women in leadership.

edito march 2013

Many things have been said regarding gender diversity in various contexts. Notably Françoise Héritier a French anthropologist and successor to Claude Lévi-Strauss at the Collège de France explains why the male domination is still everywhere: based on many examples she states a generally accepted judgment which is the following: “ males have a good way to exploit their brain; the female way is less efficient”!

Questioned about the existence of female-driven communities, she pretends that this is a myth. Myths exist to justify why things are what they are and don’t tell the truth. We find old stories where females had power and knowledge but didn’t use them well. Therefore males intervened to replace them!

I will stop here to mention Françoise Héritier - whom by the way I had the pleasure to listen to for 2 hours of informal dissertation on the topic a few months ago – and just want to reflect why I think it is stupid to always compare/oppose males and females. A few years ago, there was a study showing that startup companies managed by women had better profit than those managed by men. There are tons of similar studies you can find on internet.

Let’s just observe that there are two genders in our society with different ways of approaching problems and risks, with different decision making processes, vision and ethics and that where both genders can harmoniously complement each other in confidence, results and successes are very high. Parts of the differences are intrinsic and parts of them originate from education. Therefore, I am personally interested to observe how young generations behave because education is nowadays better shared between mothers and fathers than in the past – at least when both parents stay together -. In the 50s, 60s and 70s, mothers were far more involved in the education of children than now: it might be one reason why their daughters fight more for parity at work.

inspearit business should be attractive for both females and males without any difference. Nevertheless, in our recruitment process, we assess about 1 female CV for 10 males CVs. I have no good explanation for this. I also observe that the proportion of leaders in the 17% of inspearit women consultants is higher than males. I have no more explanation for this fact, only assumptions. Women, due to environmental parameters, are often less confident in their capacity or put barriers where there should not be: how many do not position themselves for a role where there is absolutely no gender restriction in it?

To conclude, I would like to share my three golden rules:

  • Accept male’s and female’s differences as they are and take the maximum value of working together.
  • Select your must win battles: there are fights that need to be conducted but not all of them.
  • Be convinced that “yes, you can” instead of starting with the opposite thinking and try to compensate!