One of the reasons there are fewer women than men leading our companies and organizations is that women have usually tended to be more focused on “life balance.” As a gender, they’re less inclined to give up aspects of their personal lives to devote more hours to their career. Neuropsychiatrists might add that the female brain truly is wired differently and this allows them to be better at multitasking than their male counterparts who go “deeper’ as opposed to “broader” when performing any task.
Coaches, therapists, and business leaders are generally in agreement that a woman is more likely to leave the career track in favor of the mommy track. This slows down or derails them from ascending to the executive suites of course, and as a result men are often called upon to fill a position which otherwise may have gone to a woman who was better equipped. Can’t promote someone to a job if she’s not there.
Over the past 8 years, businesses have seen a whole generation of males who are saying that they, too, want more balance in their lives. This group, in the demographic of the X’ers (and some a bit younger), have realized that a job at all costs is often not worth the cost in terms of family and personal satisfaction. It’s common to visit this generation at work and see ultrasound pictures on the walls of their cubes. They ask for paternal benefits equal to what the moms receive (which they get if they live in Canada, by the way). They balk when asked to work overtime too frequently because it cuts into their personal lives.
Whether or not this will fix the current situation in the US where only 4% of the largest companies are led by women remains to be seen. But it is critical that we get more women into positions of leadership if we intend to maintain a position of leadership in the worldwide community. As leaders, women are more creative, provide a better ROI to shareholders, and recognize different “truths” then men. Gender diversity is simply good business. It often results is happier employees as well.
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