The Yin-Yang Effect
There is a reason men working alongside women produces superior business results – higher profitability, lower attrition, better ideas, increased customer satisfaction, just to name a few. I call it the Yin-Yang effect.
Yin-Yangs were popular when I was a kid. A symbol of balance where seemingly opposite forces complement one another. That is what allies for equality is all about. By achieving more gender balance and equality, we both benefit. It is not a zero sum game. It is not a win-lose scenario. It is a win-win when we work together.
Men and women are different – biologically, emotionally, hormonally – we are wired differently. That is a good thing. As women, we bring our feminine lens to the dialogue and men bring their masculine lens. We look at things from a different perspective. We win when we bring those different lens together to solve problems and make decisions.
Gender socialization is a term that refers to how we are raised as girls and boys. From a very young age, girls are to be more collaborative, inclusive, and empathetic, whereas boys are usually taught to take risks, be confident, and be emotionless. In isolation, these behaviors are not helpful. A female dominated world would struggle to be decisive, set boundaries, and engage in conflict. Male dominated worlds (just look around) struggle to gain buy-in, promote creative solutions, and engage people at work (current engagement levels are stagnant at just 33%).
We need to talk to our allies. We have more in common than we have differences.
So, what does a good gender equality conversation look like?