Why It's Good For Business That Women Are Neurologically Different Than Men
Men will apply for a job if they meet 60% of the qualifications. Women will apply for a job if they meet 100% of the qualifications. Women have been socialized to aspire to perfection and be overly cautious. Even when we’re ambitious, when we’re leaning in, this socialization has caused us to take less risks in our career.⠀
We’re raising our girls to be perfect & our boys to be brave (Reference Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls who Code).
In the 1980s, psychologist Carole Dwek looked at how bright 5th graders handled an assignment that was difficult for them.⠀
She found that bright girls were quick to give up. The higher the IQ the more likely they were to give up.⠀
The bright boys on the other hand found the difficult material to be a challenge. They found it energizing. They were more likely to double their efforts. ⠀
What’s going on?⠀
At the 5th grade level, girls routinely outperform boys in every subject, including math and science. So it’s not a question of ability.⠀
The difference is in how boys and girls approach a challenge.⠀
And it doesn’t just end in 5th grade.⠀
Men will apply for a job if they meet 60% of the qualifications. Women will apply for a job if they meet 100% of the qualifications.⠀
Women have been socialized to aspire to perfection and be overly cautious. Even when we’re ambitious, when we’re leaning in, this socialization has caused us to take less risks in our career.⠀
So, what would happen if women were socialized to be brave, instead of being socialized to be perfect.⠀
In light of recent events, it's clear that we need to continue to break down the barriers that make the journey upward toward positions of influence easier.
- A former Google engineer's arguments that biology is the reason women are under represented in science, technology, engineering and math (and there's nothing we can do to change this reality).
- The founding partner of 500 startups who is being investigated for sexual misconduct toward women that were supposed to be mentored or backed financially.
Women are neurologically different and we need that perspective for better research and better products.
The barriers are cultural, not scientific.
These barriers can be overcome and we need to stand up, lead, collaborate, continue to push forwards, and speak up. To ignore these events, among many others, is to do a disservice, not just to women, but to society as a whole.
Inequality is a real issue.
The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report found that gender parity is over 200 years away. Women-led companies received only 4.4% of venture backed funding in 2017 according to PitchBook. The average deal size for a woman-led company in 2017 was just over $5M. For a male-led company, that number is close to $12M.
Women represent the majority of young university grads, but are underrepresented in science, tech, engineering, math & computer science (STEM). Men aged 25-34 with STEM degrees have lower unemployment rates, higher wages, and a lower rate of job mismatch.
The issues go on, but we are making progress. And that is what International Women’s Day is meant to celebrate - positive actions and progressive conversations.
Balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage.
Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
Balance drives a better working world.
Today I'm taking a moment to celebrate all of the incredible women I have had the opportunity to learn from and work with, including many of our most influential course instructors on Embodia:
On behalf of Embodia, I would like to wish you a Happy International Women's Day and to extend our sincere gratitude for every man and woman who are actively working to close the gender gap in technology, healthcare, and all other industries.
We are going to keep this conversation going and are hosting a complimentary webinar on April 15, 2019 with two successful female leaders in healthcare, Kim Hall, Founder of Physio2U, and Laura Desveaux, Implementation Scientist at Women's College Hospital.