Business

To balance or not to balance, that is the dilemma

The die has been cast in the endless social debate between advocates of gender equality and their critics, and only time will tell who was right.

5 min read

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To balance or not to balance, that is the dilemma
To balance or not to balance, that is the dilemma


By: Elisa de Sampedro / Content Creator / Great Place to Work® México.

  • In Mexico, despite the fact that 45% of college graduates are women, only 25% are involved at management and leadership levels.

In the recent debates between feminism and machism, it seems impossible to take a position without looking bad with someone. The die has been cast in the endless social debate between advocates of gender equality and their critics, and only time will tell who was right.

However, there is no time for organizations to lose and there is an urgent need to make decisions knowing that creating teams that respect gender equality is not a wasted effort and that it will benefit the organization.

How is it in Mexico and the world?

A recent study by McKinsey Company was very instructive both in terms of the very broad base examined and the results. The final numbers are grim: in Mexico, 45% of college graduates are women, but only 25% at management and leadership levels. And that percentage drops to just 10% when it comes to executive committees. In the United States, the reality is not very different.

This information is in contrast to the report that Heidrick Struggles published in early 2020 on new employees joining the boards of companies in 15 European countries.

According to the data published in their study, 49% of new hires in 2019 were women, an impressive leap!

Undoubtedly, these data are partly due to pressure from European governments to achieve gender equality in the governing body. However, no organization hires a woman just to meet official requirements, no one would have that luxury. Organizations always Insure yourself that the chosen candidate Cover the profile you want. You search and find. So the data shows that leadership by women is equal to that of men.

However, other studies also show that women and men do not lead the same way, and that trying to balance one and the other in senior management becomes a competitive advantage.

Organizations benefit from leadership

Image: Depositphotos.com

When leadership is made up of men and women with complementary visions, organizational decisions are enriched, which leads to better business results. Women in top management bring scenarios to the table that men generally do not see. At the same time, men take into account aspects that women say they attach less importance to Beyond Gender Equality: Complementary Leadership by Great Place to Work®-CIMAD.

As early as 2007, Alice Eagly and Linda Carli identified some leadership traits related to gender. They found two leadership styles: one that was more oriented towards the Community development and another more oriented towards successes (Agent).

The community style is based on traits that we normally associate with women. For example, a disposition to caring for people, caring for others, and relationships between groups.

In the meantime, the agent style has been tied to aspects generally related to the masculine. For example, mastery, competitiveness, control, authority and task fulfillment, depending on Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership.

This does not mean that there are no dominant, competitive women who can get the ship to port. Also that there are no warm men who take great care of everyone. Rather, the study defines trends in leadership style.

The most important thing is that an organization, whether large, small, or very small, does very well as defined by these styles when it tries to create balanced teams. That way you won’t waste 50% of humanity’s talent. It is no small matter. And it will surely improve business results as well.

What do decision makers need? Have the courage and determination to make this happen. One day they will realize that they have placed themselves on the right side of history.

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