• Background


John Gray, author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, and Barbara Annis, an expert on gender inclusiveness, discuss “gender blind spots” that generate friction between men and women at work. The authors distributed 100,000 surveys to employees in 60 Fortune 500 companies. They found that women are not as satisfied with their professional lives as men. Women feel excluded from advancement, undervalued and unappreciated. Men say women ask too many questions, take criticism personally and become emotional. The authors advise companies to cultivate “gender intelligence” so men and women can accept and acknowledge their differences as strengths. Even though some of Gray’s and Annis’s advice is obvious common sense, getAbstract recommends these findings to executives seeking an inclusive workplace and to HR professionals who struggle to retain talented employees, especially women.


Men and Women Are Not the Same

Many talented people quit their jobs or run into professional difficulties because they don’t understand how to work with the opposite sex. Women and men stereotype each other, causing misunderstanding and miscommunication. With a little “gender intelligence,” both sexes can recognize how the differences between them are actually strengths.

Many businesses have promoted “gender equality” to stop future problems, but that forces men and women to “act the same.” Such “sameness” is the biggest obstacle to improved communication and understanding. When women and men express themselves naturally, companies benefit from a broader perspective, and overall performance improves.

Since 1982, the majority of US college graduates have been women. Since 2009, women have earned more doctoral degrees than men. Now half the US workforce, women still find that workplaces are male dominated. Since the 1980s, women have held half of all middle-management positions in Fortune 500 companies, yet few women reach executive-level positions. Today in the US, they hold fewer than 20% executive-rank jobs.

Companies today also fear...

About the Authors

Barbara Annis works as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies specializing in Gender Intelligence. Therapist John Gray wrote Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.

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