The participation of women in the workforce has increased over the years until over half of all women of working age have a job or are looking for a job. Gender diversity is good for companies. In a study by the Kellogg School of Management, teams with both men and women performed better than single-sex groups because the mixed groups were better and solving problems.
We know there are differences in how men and women approach the world of work. Let’s talk about a few specifics.
Women are good team members. They often are better at being supportive and rewarding, while men are often seen as better at delegating. Because women tend to more collaborative, their participation in teams often results in more ideas. Both styles are necessary when running an effective team.
Women are seen as better at encouragement and networking than men. Female workers read situations better and are seen as better communicators. They often are better at resolving conflicts. Partnership is seen as a feminine trait while aggressiveness is seen as more masculine.
Habits at work
Women have a greater tendency to ask for more and challenging work than men. Men are more apt to “wing it” or try to do a task or volunteer to do a job in which they have no experience. Women have a tendency to assume they need more experience than men to do the same job.
Women tend to take fewer sick days and often put in longer days than men. Both genders appreciate flexibility in the workplace, allowing them to handle personal matters that can’t wait until after business hours.
Men tend to be better negotiators than women. Men ask for more money when starting jobs while women may underestimate their value. Women who negotiate hard are often seen as too aggressive or not being part of the team. Tough male negotiators are seen as typical.
In addition, men tend to ask for what they want. Women often are not as obvious when asking for assignments. They are more likely to wait until their manager notices that it’s time for a new project.
Women increasingly have higher levels of education than their male coworkers. Women received 62% of advanced degrees granted in the U.S in 2009-10 according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). For every two men in college, three women are registered. In the next few years, women will have the majority of college degrees.
Companies who hire college-educated workforce will have more women to fill their ranks. With fewer college degrees, men could be shut out of management roles in larger organizations. This will be a very big culture shift for many companies.
The differences between how men and women view work are important to a well-rounded company. Studies have shown that companies are more profitable with more women in upper management positions. Diversity in the staff helps an organization to be well-rounded and better serve their customer base. Is your company promoting gender diversity?
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