Masculine qualities are domineering, feminine ones promote harmony. Women are more empathetic, men are more insensitive. Women don’t really want to have a successful career, but for men it’s crucial. Which of these statements would you subscribe to?
Whether we’re baby boomers or digital natives, it’s astonishing the qualites that we ascribe to each other. But do they really apply, or are we just propagating stereotypes which have shaped us for centuries? The journalist and trends analyst, Matthias Horx, thinks that we live in a kind of virtual gender universe where we keep on repeating the same thought patterns. Nevertheless, in 2011 he was already predicting that women would become a “megatrend” of the future.
Throughout the world women are demonstrably outperforming men in the education field.
FEMALE MANAGEMENT DESERVES MORE THAN RESPECT
Women’s influence on society, politics and the economy is growing all the time. It’s a globally recognised fact that women are outperforming men when it comes to education. This is having an impact on management positions. Numerous studies show that companies are more innovative and successful if women also have a say in how things are done. The Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics has for example investigated 22ʼ000 companies in 90 countries. Conclusions: if the proportion of women in senior management positions rises.
Rated better in terms of leadership qualities.
And women are considered – even by male managers − to be more efficient than men at all levels within a hierarchy and in virtually all operational areas. In an experiment at New York University a female professor presented students with identical CVs and qualifications for a woman and a man. When asked who they would prefer to work for, most decided on the woman. In a similar experiment ten years earlier the result was completely different.
Just remind me again – what are male domains?
So stereotypes can be broken down and role models can change. And they are doing. The gaming industry has noticed that gaming consoles are becoming increasingly popular with women. Kate Edwards is the American female founder of Geogrify, a large international provider of games, e.g. focusing on characters, character profiles, design and culture. Edwards is also the head of Global Game Jams – a global programming marathon lasting several days which promotes the development of innovative ideas in the gaming sector. Or have you heard of Omaima Al-Najjar? She’s a blogger from Saudi Arabia who fought against the driving ban for women which was lift ed in 2018. Today the activist lives as a political refugee in Italy, and she’s continuing to champion the cause of oppressed women in her native country.
30 percent of the world‘s wealth is owned by women.
FEMALE FOR FINANCE
30 percent of the world’s wealth is owned by women. That’s 44 billion euros − so there’s no reason for not talking about money. The qualified economist and financial journalist Dani Parthum was horrified to find that she wasn’t taking proper care of her own finances. For the last three years she has been sharing her accumulated wisdom concerning wealth, pensions and investments with other women on geldfrau.de. Natascha Wegelin, aka “Miss Moneypenny” founded her first company at the age of 26 and her podcast encourages women to take control of their own finances. And there are good reasons for doing this – because women have to worry about their financial future much more than men do – due to partti me working, parental leave, divorce, and having a longer life expectancy.
Money is power. For women it provides the power to shape the future.
Women are right to see money as having the power to shape the world. So investments are used to make the world more receptive to environmental and social issues, and to wider societal issues. According to a study (YouGov, June 2018) women are more interested in sustainable investments than men are. It is precisely this fact which should act as an additional incentive for women to take leading roles in the financial and economic sectors. An example of a woman who is doing just that is Sallie Krawcheck.
After working on Wall Street for 20 years she founded an investment platform for women which is created by women – and which is so successful that Melinda Gates has become one of its investors. The top manager has another real insider tip: “Invest like a woman”.
Multitasking, complexity management and versatility are encoded in women‘s DNA.
By 2019 a total of 866 Nobel Prizes were awarded in the five conventional categories: 787 went to men, 52 to women, and 27 to organisations. In proportional terms women won just 5.7% of the prizes incl. the Economics Nobel Prize. This is unlikely to change because only men are in the position to – and willing to – focus their life entirely on one subject, invention or achievement.
However, while the great inventions made by men in the 20th and 21st centuries have led to a complex, globalised and interconnected world, they have unfortunately also led to capitalist patterns of behaviour which are environmentally damaging.
Now the era of women is coming. Managing complexity through the use of emotional and social skills is precisely what virtually every woman finds herself doing in her daily life: as a homemaker, a business woman, or a manager. These talents and skills will in future provide the leadership that will be needed to bring the challenges facing our planet into line with our economic and ethical principles. Female for Future!
There are now numerous studies which demonstrate that “gender diversity” has a direct, positive effect on business success. For instance, the McKinsey consultancy firm examines this aspect in detail in its “Women Matter” series of studies. In the case of corporations in Europe, America and Asia there is a positive correlation between having a higher proportion of women in senior management roles and the financial performance of the companies.
A classic example of this is “Sunrun Inc.”, a business in the Globalance portfolio which has achieved full pay parity. Lynn Jurich, the co-founder and CEO of Sunrun, has made it clear that “fair and equal pay for all genders and races is a fundamental human right, and part of Sunrun’s ethos.” Sunrun was the first US solar business to reach this milestone after pledging itself to wage equality in 2016 under the Obama government.