What Is Gender Partnership?
Gender Partnership is when every member of your team, from top executives to individual contributors, understands, appreciates, and works seamlessly with the different attitudes and strengths of their opposite gender.
It’s when men and women learn from and leverage each other’s special skills and talents. They listen to each other’s ideas. They have patience with each other’s individual styles. It’s when your team’s creativity, productivity, and decision-making are no longer hobbled by miscommunication, misunderstandings, or unconscious bias.
What Will It Do for My Organization?
Imagine mastering Gender Partnership in your organization so that you are able to effectively understand, connect, and communicate with 100% of your customers, end-users, and stakeholders — AND be fully able to attract, retain and develop 100% of the available talent pool.
Here are the actual figures that repeated studies and surveys by reputable organizations have reported for companies that practice Gender Partnership.
- 39% Higher Customer Satisfaction (Gallup)
When your R&D and Marketing teams include more women, they can help you design and sell to the very people who make the vast majority of consumer spending decisions. Women control 80% of consumer-goods purchasing decisions in the U.S.
They make 66% of new car purchases (though 74% say they feel misunderstood by automotive marketers). They also buy more consumer electronics than men -– a little-publicized fact that has been true since 2004. In fact, 50% of products typically marketed to men, including home improvement products, are purchased by women.
“You always need to go back to the business case,” one industry executive said during a recent focus group. “If the vast majority of women are the ones making [buying] decisions, we can’t declare victory until the percentage of women at every level is representative of the constituency [i.e., the consumers].”
- 47% Higher Return on Equity (Credit Suisse, Catalyst, McKinsey, and Deloitte for this and the next three statistics)
- 55% Higher Average Earnings Before Interest And Tax
- 60% Higher Return on Invested Capital
- 84% Higher Return on Sales
- 22% Greater Productivity (Gallup)
- More Innovation (Forbes)
Diversity breeds creativity and innovation. Of 321 large global enterprises—companies with at least $500 million in annual revenue—surveyed in a Forbes study in 2011, 85 percent agreed or strongly agreed that diversity is crucial to fostering innovation in the workplace.
As Professor Scott Page pointed out in his book The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies (Princeton University Press), “If people think alike, then no matter how smart they are, they most likely will get stuck at the same locally optimal solutions. Finding new and better solutions – innovating – requires thinking differently. That’s why diversity powers innovation.”
A recent study from the Kellogg School of Management concludes that heterogeneous groups get better results than homogeneous groups
Bigger Talent Pool (Proposal to a White House Council on Boys to Men)
Women represent 60% of the top talent pool, a dramatic shift over the past 50+ years. The demand for talent is going to keep growing, too, as more and more baby boomers retire. In fact, Pew studies have found that 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 15 years. Companies will find themselves under pressure to hire top female candidates — and under more pressure to keep them.
22% Lower Turnover Rate
Gallup workplace studies have found that organizations with more diverse cultures (including more women) have a 22% lower turnover rate. Small wonder, given that these team members, who are working in an environment with a commitment to Gender Partnership, are engaged, productive, successful — and happy.
How Does My Company Get There?
Within the context of Gender Partnership, there are three powerful leverage points for change:
- Empowering women for and with each other
- Engaging men to advance women
- Removing institutional barriers and blind spots
We know from our two+ decades of working in this field that Gender Partnership is more of a management change process than a diversity issue. That means all management must be on board for it to be effective. All organizational functions and levels need to be aligned.
We offer complete services from Gender Diagnostics through Training for men, women, and co-ed teams, remote Gender Partnership training for offsite employees, and a full, months-long Gender Partnership Large-Systems Change Initiative supported by coaching and executive consulting.
THE END GOAL IS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
Diversity and inclusion are the way you get there, not an end in themselves. This represents a MAJOR shift in thinking begun only in the past few years, and it has opened the way for many more organizations and teams to undertake the changes that make Gender Partnership a reality.
Four Powers You Gain with Gender Partnership
- The Power of the Purse - Connection to consumer product customers - 80% of whom are women
- The Power of Talent - Being able to draw on 100% of global talent pool
- The Power of Dignity - Enabling all team members to have full expression, make their full contribution, and be treated with dignity
- The Power of Engagement - Achieving true sustainability, which means getting the best from your work teams, including highly innovative ideas in the service of customers and stakeholders
Great Minds Often DON'T Think Alike -- and That's Good News
Gender Partnership requires leadership -- at every level -- to understand and maximize the complementary differences between men and women.
One of the quickest ways to get a better understanding of the opposite sex (or should we say, the complementary gender) is to look at the differences between how our brains work. Before we go further, keep in mind that the information below applies to most, not all, people. Also, these distinctions are tendencies and sometimes preferences, not hard and fast rules.
If you click on the chart, you can read my blog post about these differences and why they spell can P-R-O-F-I-T for companies that leverage them.