World-renowned experts on gender intelligence Barbara Annis and Keith Merron suggest it’s time to move beyond arguments based on politics and fairness, building an economic business case for gender diversity in the workplace.
Despite forty years of laws, quotas, diversity training, and legal expenses aimed toward equalizing pay, opportunities, and working conditions between the sexes, the glass ceiling remains firmly intact. For too long, companies have played the “numbers game”—attempting to tackle gender imbalance by forcing affirmative action policies and numeric standards on organizations to increase the representation of women in management. Yet, these efforts have rarely been sustained.
In this groundbreaking comprehensive analysis, based on more than twenty-five years of in-depth surveys involving 100,000 men and women across dozens of Fortune 500 companies, Barbara Annis and Keith Merron provide a deeper understanding of the multiplicity of forces that have combined to create and perpetuate gender inequality. Gender Intelligence exposes common false assumptions that prevent men and women from successfully performing together at work—myths exacerbated by worn-out theories of gender blindness and sameness thinking. It show how a small but growing number of courageous, leading-edge companies have broken through the barriers to successfully advance women, making the remarkable transformation from compliance to choice—from pressure to preference—and show how it can be done in any business.
Gender Intelligence features 17 illustrations.
In this study of gender diversity in the workplace, Annis (coauthor of Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business) and her colleague Merron reach some startling conclusions based on over 25 years of in-depth surveys involving male and female global managers. They identify several "gender blind spots" incorrect assumptions that cause misunderstandings including the false notions that equality means sameness, and the idea that women should think and act like men. Exploring the confluence of these detrimental beliefs, they advocate for adopting gender intelligence in highly successful organizations, pointing to examples such as American Express, where a culture of difference-thinking has been utilized with success. In addition to covering the scientific differences between how men and women think, the authors explore leadership responsibility inherent in instigating such a change in attitudes, and document the five stages through which an organization will evolve into "a gender-intelligent company." The book appropriately focuses on the economic benefits of adopting gender intelligence and shows how to get started, as well as illustrating how and why gender intelligence benefits us all. 17 illus.