Closing the Gender Gap

I just finished taking a really stellar course in Gender and Leadership as part of my MBA studies at the Simmons School of Management.  I wish I could spend a few hours unpacking all the different issues and ideas raised by this class — at least for my own reference later — but alas, I am still in an accellerated MBA program, which leaves practically zero time for pauses, nevermind for reflection.

However, one of the last things we did in class today was to watch and discuss a short film by PricewaterhouseCoopers, recently unveiled at Davos, that asserts that closing the gender gap is a critical concern for any firm that wants to be able to compete in the new (global, demographically complex, post-meltdown, etc.) economy.  This is no longer (as if it ever was) just an issue of basic human rights (which it still is) but is directly related to profitability (aka the bottom line).

The full movie is here, on the PWC website (it is not available in an embeddable format, sadly).  It’s only about 25 minutes long, is impressively international in its scope, and incorporates the analyses of some very high-level people who know what they’re talking about.  No, really. Check it out.

As is often the case when you don’t hear from me for a while, I am in a process of molting; my direction and focus are shifting, and my level of intensity has ramped up exponentially as a result.  The candle is not just burning at both ends, it is burning bright (tyger, tyger).

The clip from PwC is a good indication of the headspace I am in right now. Gender, power, leadership, diversity, and how they relate directly to organizational effectiveness, sustainability, and profitability.  Dig it. Yeah.

2 Thoughts.

  1. I think closing the gender gap is key, but so is diversity in general (background, ethnicity, disability, alternative experience, etc.) and (I got a bit of a sense of this from the video) viewing diversity as “a problem to be solved”, rather than as something to embrace in and of itself. I think it’s something that needs to take place at the interface between HR and the managers defining the job position and qualifications: what are the abilities that are necessary for that position? Too often it’s seen in the realm of “qualifications” (education, closely-related employment), rather than in “qualities” (social/interpersonal abilities). Of course, that means having a more rigorous interview and hiring process—or at the very least puts more emphasis on the cover letter than the resume.

  2. This sounds fascinating. diversity in and of itself is not a solution but it does make a huge difference not only for a business, but for society.

    it’s a wonder some people haven’t figured it out yet.

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