Although a small percentage of men still view women as invading the workplace and taking away their jobs, resistance to diversity and inclusion, and sexual harassment in the workplace always been about power not about sex. It has always been more about undermining the authority of women who seem too powerful, too smart, or too confident than about sex, skill sets or meritocracy.
Do men need women to be more powerful, smart and confident?
Men with their linear, logical mind, with their testosterone charged competitive spirit, need women now more than ever to help them manage the complexities and interconnected nature of today’s highly volatile world.
This is the real problem. When it is addressed directly by an organization, by integrating power sharing strategies into an organization’s decision-making structure the positive benefits are instantly measurable. Structured power sharing - based on the dynamic synergy of gender trait differences - is like tapping into a new source of free energy.
How does this translate to the workplace? It’s done by creating a balance point between specific gender trait differences of men and women - in a structured way at the corporate culture level.
Would more women in the workplace help?
Do organizations need a structured approach or will the resistance to diversity, and the problem of sexual harassment resolve itself by simply grooming more more women as leaders? Both a structured approach and grooming a more diverse team for leadership are needed, because the disruptive behavior (hidden or on display) is a power game played by a few competitive, testosterone driven men who haven’t learned to share power. That’s why the permanent fix is at the corporate culture level.
It’s not just diversity and inclusivity. At core, it is a problem of gender imbalance in decision making that can only be corrected by a structural change that ensures gender trait differences are in balance, not just for one time, but for all times, and at ALL levels of the organization. I’ll talk more about this in a minute.
Recent studies of the U.S. workforce show that at least half workforce is female, however, few women have reached the upper management levels. The 2016 Fortune 500 list, shows only 21 companies - roughly 4.8% - with women at the helm, in CEO positions. Likewise, at the C-suite and middle management levels, men predominate and unfortunately for some men, their power has provided opportunity and access, resulting in abuse.
This risk of abuse for women grows with rank.
The higher a woman rises in rank, the greater the risk. Even with with the number of women rising in the workforce, the problem has not diminished. In fact, according to a study published in COSMO, 38% of women in the workforce say they have been sexually harassed. However, the unfortunate truth is, the higher a woman rises in rank, the more likely she is to experience sexual harassment. A 2009 study of careers and women showed that Senior female managers are 137% more likely to experience sexual harassment than their counterparts. Without serious leadership skill changes, the problem is not likely to get better now that digital millennials are entering the workplace.
Digital millennials require a different skill set for handling F2F relationships.
With digital millennials entering the workplace, the need for diversity and inclusivity will increase, and, the problem of sexual harassment will only get worse, because for many of the millennials, their relationship skills have been shaped by social media. Put simply, they lack coping skills for managing disruptive behavior in face to face (F2F) encounters. In confronting conflicts in the workplace, millennials can’t just unfriend, delete or report aggressive behavior of a person as spam. Yes, they can just walk away, however, sooner or later, the issue will have to be dealt with or else it will fester.
Online, words can be weaponized; images can be turned into revenge porn. Dealing with the challenge of disruptive behavior face to face - where you are the target - requires a different skill set.
To tackle the issue of conflict - and in times of exponential change, workplace conflicts continue to evolve and multiply - companies need to address the core issue once and for all times.
Conflicts arise from lack of recognition that men and women have different inherent traits in their approach to communication and decision making. And each difference has value. The dynamic synergy of these differences is both an accelerator for conflicts, and for innovation and boosting profits. The conflicts won’t disappear, they will just evolve to another set of conflicts, UNLESS corporations make specific structural changes to drive the energy of this dynamic synergy toward innovation, productivity and profits. Where should the focus be? The leverage points are in the hiring process, training programs, team building and decision making, with an emphasis on corporate culture.
At 10TRAITS Leadership we’ve created a toolkit of patent-pending tools that focus on creating a structural change at the cultural level of an organization based on balancing gender traits. This science-based approach creates a dynamic synergy between key male and female traits in order to accelerate and stabilize a positive structural change in the hiring process, team building and decision making. The result: a new algorithm for positive change in human behavior and a rapid alignment of diverse minds across cultures and time zones.
Exponential growth in technology demands that the Silicon Valley workforce adapt FAST or fall behind. Bridging the diversity GAP by harnessing the power of this dynamic synergy must become part of their success equation.