Women & Leadership Links

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(via The Daily Muse)

Macho Cultures Are Fairer for Women – Harvard Business Review

Paradoxically, the evidence suggests that macho cultures and gender balance actually mix rather well.

In the 2012 Grant Thornton survey of the gender balance in senior executive roles, for example, Brazil had 27% women and 73% men, compared to the US with 17% women and 83% men. On this basis, Brazilian business leadership is already more gender balanced than the US.

How come? I think that businesses in the USA and the UK have fallen into the trap of trying to negate the differences between men and women in order to achieve equality. British and American managers try to treat everyone the same — and equally.

But because men and women are different in a host of potentially powerfully complementary ways, this well-intentioned strategy has only served to eliminate women from the leadership pipelines in many companies, except for the few who adopt masculine leadership styles.

The Brazilians never fell into this trap. Rather than seek equality through sameness, Brazil accentuates differences between genders. Brazilian men are about as macho as you can get while the feminine stereotype is celebrated by both genders.

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3 thoughts on “Women & Leadership Links

  1. wow i love that last piece about celebrating gender differences and approaching gender balancing as a competitive advantage, rather than an inconvenience of political correctness. great stuff!

    1. Hi Toby,
      Thanks for your comment! I was also very intrigued by the article – I think that it will be interesting to see whether the Brazilian approach will lead to more gains for women.

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