To stability or to not stability, that is the dilemma

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To balance or not to balance, that's the dilemma

The die has been cast in the endless social debate between advocates of gender equality and their critics, and only time will tell who was right.

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November
12, 2020

5 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

By: Elisa de Sampedro / Content Creator / Great Place to Work® México.

  • In Mexico, 45% of college graduates are women, but only 25% at management and leadership levels.

In the recent debates between feminism and machism, it seems impossible to take a position without looking bad with someone. The die has been cast in the endless social debate between advocates of gender equality and their critics, and only time will tell who was right.

However, there is no time for organizations to lose and there is an urgent need to make decisions with the confidence that creating teams regarding gender equality is not a wasted effort and will benefit the organization.

How is Mexico and the world doing?

A recent study by McKinsey & Company was very instructive both for the very broad base studied and for the results. The final numbers are grim: in Mexico, 45% of college graduates are women, but only 25% at management and leadership levels. And that percentage drops to just 10% when it comes to executive committees. In the United States, the reality is not very different.

This information is in contrast to the report that Heidrick & Struggles published in early 2020 on new hires to integrate the board of directors of companies in 15 European countries.

According to the data published in their study, 49% of new hires in 2019 were women, an impressive leap!

Undoubtedly, these data are partly due to pressure from European governments to achieve gender equality in the governing body. However, no organization hires a woman just to meet official requirements, nobody would have that luxury. Organizations always ensure that the selected candidate fulfills the desired profile. You search and find. So the data shows that leadership by women is equal to that of men.

However, other studies also show that women and men do not lead the same way and that trying to balance one and the other in senior management becomes a competitive advantage.

Organizations benefit from women's leadership

Image: Depositphotos.com

When leadership is made up of men and women with complementary visions, organizational decisions are enriched, which leads to better results in business. Women in top management bring scenarios to the table that men generally do not see. At the same time, men consider aspects to which women tend to attach less importance according to Beyond Gender Equity: Complementary leadership through Great Place to Work®-CIMAD.

As early as 2007, Alice Eagly and Linda Carli identified some leadership traits related to gender. They found two styles of leadership: one more community development centered and another more performance centered (agent).

The community style is based on traits that we normally associate with women. For example, a disposition to caring for people, caring for others, and relationships between groups.

Meanwhile, the agent style has been tied to aspects generally related to the masculine. For example dominance, competitiveness, control, authority and fulfillment of tasks according to women and the labyrinth of leadership.

This does not mean that there are no dominant, competitive women who can get the ship to port. Also that there are no warm men who take great care of everyone. Rather, the study defines trends in leadership style.

The most important thing is that an organization, be it large, small, or very small, as defined by these styles, does very well if it tries to create balanced teams. That way you won't waste 50% of humanity's talent. It is no small matter. And it will surely improve business results as well.

Then what do decision makers need? Have the courage and determination to make this happen. One day they will realize that they have placed themselves on the right side of history.