Gender Intelligence is the Key to the War for Talent Says World Expert

Written by:

David Feldman

Barbara Annis, CEO of Gender Intelligence Group, will be delivering a keynote presentation at HERWorld 2019 on gender intelligence – what it means, and how it can impact the success of a business (or person).  

Barbara has spent the last 30 years researching and teaching on this topic.  She has published five books on gender intelligence, is Chair Emeritus and a current member of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard Kennedy School, and was recently given the International Alliance for Women Lifetime Achievement Award.

Recently, she also gave a TEDx presentation with valuable insights for both men and women.

When we have the discussion of equality and women in the workforce there are numbers that stand out as unacceptable to any rational person:

Only 6% of the CEO’s for US energy firms are female.

Only 11% of senior executives in oil and gas are female.

Women make roughly 7.5% less than men for the exact same job in energy and oil.

So, what’s holding us back?  Why is there a ceiling that women can't seem to break through, and men can’t seem to recognize? 

Barbara and her associates have taught this to over 8,000 groups, organizations and people. 

The answer is gender intelligence. 

So many people, don’t realize that the differences between men and women aren’t bad.  Men aren’t bad and women aren’t bad.  And the solution to the statistics above isn’t making women act more like men, and it’s not making men more like women. 

More women in executive positions, a pay raise and equal pay for the same job, and female contributions in STEM-based industries isn’t going to happen by creating a homogeneous, gender-blind workforce.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite. 

Gender intelligence is not gender sameness.  It’s understanding that men and women are different and appreciating and exploiting those differences for success. It’s only when we understand and value these differences will we see the gaps start to close and the stats start to improve. 

In her TEDx talk Barbara acknowledges, “Men and women are different.  And the key for me in my work is not to train women to fit into the traditional paradigm but to change the culture and transform it so that it’s inclusive of all kinds of differences.”

Companies that implement a culture of appreciating differences are winning in the war for talent.

An example she often uses is the fact that the Prefrontal Cortex is different in men and women.  This is the area of the brain that oversees consequential thinking.  It develops in women sooner than men and can be an asset in the corporate environment.  In a meeting, a woman might say, “Well, let’s think through this.  What will happen here if we make this change, and what about over here, and how will this person perceive this?” 

This is something many men that are rash decision makers and action takers might miss out on; however, this is a valuable asset that women bring to the table.  Both the man’s natural instincts and the women’s natural instincts work together for maximum success.  Each alone would result in less favorable outcomes.

That’s just one of many examples she uses when teaching gender intelligence. 

Now, just think of how valuable this will be in the energy industry? 

If we can appreciate the differences in women and men, we will want to hire more women and promote more women because we will see the value, where many of us were blind to it before. 

Women make great engineers, executives and analysts.  Not because they are fitting in to a paradigm, but because they are different and that unique set of skills ads immeasurable value to an organization, and our industry.

Join Barbara at HERWorld19. Get your tickets before they are gone!

Barbara is CEO and Founder of Gender Intelligence Group (GIG) and a world-renowned expert on Inclusive Leadership through Gender & Cultural Intelligence, advocating the value and practice of this new type of leadership in Fortune 500 companies and numerous organizations worldwide. Her insights and achievements have pioneered a transformational shift in cultural attitudes across the globe on the importance of gender unity to organizational success. Annis has produced four transformational books including Gender Intelligence: Breakthrough Strategies for Increasing Diversity and Improving Your Bottom Line, co-authored with Dr. Keith Merron, and her newest book, Results at the Top: Using Gender Intelligence to Create Breakthrough Growth, co-authored with Richard Nesbitt.

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