Tech & Work

Changing demographics require new leadership styles

The role of women in the organization is changing and the role of men in the home has shifted. John M. McKee explains why these changes are the beginning of a new model that will be with us for the next 100 years.

Your future has arrived…

...and your life is about to become a lot different.

For most of the history of the world, men have done the work that generated the family income while women did the work of having children, raising the family and creating community.

This model lasted because it worked: One could make plans for their life with confidence that things would stay pretty much the same.  As far back as 1810, the term "breadwinner" had become a popular term applied to men who made the income to support a family.

But today, by most indicators, that model is now finished. As a result, your "three lives" are going to be more greatly affected than at any time in modern history.  Regardless of what you do, it's highly unlikely to remain the same.  Wherever you work - you are about to witness a significant impact from this shift. However you see the world, be prepared for a massive re-think.

Men are starting to see what it's been like for women since the dawn of the industrial revolution.  Many aren't prepared for this shift.  Ask them and they'll say they believe that the single reason it's harder now is offshoring. While true to some extent, that perspective misses the socio-economic shifts that will be with us forever:

  1. According to current research, women now fill the majority of jobs in the US.
  2. Bloomberg reports that women now fill 51.4% of professional and managerial positions.  Another study showed that 60% of all Masters degrees are going to women.
  3. Twenty-three percent of men don't make as much as their wives.  Single women between the ages of 22 and 30 earned 8% more than men in that age group in most American cities.
  4. C Level moms are no longer remarkable.  In the IT sector, it became more common when we saw organizations like Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, EBay and Yahoo run by women who often had families as well as big jobs.  Women often manage differently than men.  Those organizations reflect that difference.
  5. Homes are now purchased twice as often by women than men.
  6. Single motherhood is now frequently a conscious lifestyle choice worldwide.  Futurist Faith Popcorn reports that a third of Japanese women in their 30s are unmarried.  Marriage has lost its status of mandatory life goal.
  7. Asians are leading the business trends toward more matriarchy with a third of Thailand's CEOs being women and China showing 34% of all senior management positions being held by the ladies.
  8. Catalyst Organization reported in December that in the US those organizations with higher levels of gender diversity in the boardroom outperform companies with zero board women by 84% on sales, 60% on invested capital and 46% on return on equity.

No organization or industry will miss these trends. Regardless of whether you're a man or a woman they will impact both genders from now on. Women and men often manage differently.  Neither style is more "right" in every situation than the other - they're simply different.

Act accordingly.

John

Executive and Leadership Coach

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

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