In the wake of #MeToo and a wave of gender-related scandals dismembering corporations’ leadership, there is a new era coming in how workplaces tackle the “gender” issue that has been a long-brewing problem since women entered the workforce.
With any resistance, there is going to be a push back; which we’re seeing now. The reaction to the mistreatment of power and gender in the workplace (and elsewhere) has, no doubt, sparked a wave of anger along with a call for change. However, that anger and far pendulum swing will have a reaction in its own. We’re starting to see that. The job of gender diversity training at work needs to be a mutually supportive and provide guidance to bring out the harmony and true potential of both genders working together.
Gender diversity training must go beyond “men and women are equal” and “men are not acting right” for businesses to create thriving work environments.
Men’s current default position in the workplace:
As a result of the backlash, the pendulum has swung very far. There is a large portion of great and honorable Men who are now feeling in a default position of fault. They are feeling that none of what they do can be right and there is a deep divide between men and women at work. A discouragement of interaction between men and women is not productive for companies or women. This sort of backlash is actually problematic for women in the business circle. Many men are now believing it’s safer and easier to hire men over women in positions that women are qualified for to avoid the potential problems that arise now. The fear of blame is damaging to professional women just as much as men. Fear based decisions never prove to create a constructive and positive space for authentic leadership.
Acknowledging differences as strengths:
One of the unconscious struggles women have suffered since their onset is feeling the need to adapt their demeanor, appearance, or behavior to match the masculine energy of men assuming it’s the only way to inclusion, promotion, respect. Women push through situations, deter from what they want to wear and look like, and handle situations denying their empathetic nature or deep need for happiness and fulfillment. This inauthentic state is exhausting, depleting and leads to failure. Women’s natural attributes are actually perfect for a robust and profitable workplace and influential leadership. Women’s collaborative, intuitive, and expansive qualities are what create well-bonded, sustainable and innovative work environments that excel. Reciprocally, men’s natural qualities of a goal-driven mindset, competitiveness, and analytical thinking play a vitally crucial role in the workplace. Pushing one gender idiosyncrasies over another is counterproductive and impact negatively both individuals and company overall. Training the two energies – Male and Female – to work together is a winning formula by acknowledging and embracing the natural strengths of both.
Supporting both genders for mutual respect:
A hard pendulum swing from one side to the other takes a long time to meet in the middle again. But the business environment doesn’t need another long period of tension and problems surrounding gender. For collaborative, productive, and safe work environments where both men and women feel understood, supported and comfortable, we don’t have time. Gender diversity training that educates leaders, managers and employees on the complementary strengths and energies of men and women and how to strategically leverage those in the workplace is the most productive training companies can invest in for a leading-edge work environment. Gender diversity education that doesn’t villainize men and stereotypes women, but uplifts and supports both genders is mandatory to both solve the current adversarial tension and prevent further dramatic swinging of the pendulum.
For more on corporate gender diversity training, explore options for Power Strategist Tatiana Dudyez’s Corporate Coaching Programs.