Okay folks. I know you don’t usually hear from me more than once a month via blog, but I just can’t stay quiet any longer. Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech continues to be applauded and discussed, and has fueled a number of other conversations related to the #Me Too movement. Oprah almost immediately turned the spotlight from herself, as the first black woman to win the Golden Globe Cecil D. DeMille Award, to the conversation challenging leaders to change the ways of the past, and “take us to the time when nobody has to say #Me Too again”.
You know, I wrote this book about the value of having gender balance in leadership. The book clearly defines the reasons why companies and organizations will be more successful, financially, if they have a balance of women and men in leadership. However, now that ALL of our eyes are opened to the damage done by a culture that harbors sexual harassment, let me connect the dots for you.
WHEN WOMEN ARE PRESENT IN LEADERSHIP, THE LEVEL OF RESPECT FOR EVERYONE GOES UP. WHEN YOU HAVE MORE RESPECT IN YOUR ORGANIZATION, YOU ARE LESS LIKELY TO HAVE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT ALLOWS ANY KIND OF HARASSMENT TO EXIST.
Especially when women leaders make up 30 percent of the room – because 30 percent is critical mass, and critical mass always results in change.
The lack of women in leadership will ALWAYS create a more masculine, competitive culture; perhaps one that is unintentionally overly aggressive, overly challenging and anti-listening. Those behaviors can be perceived as disrespectful and even exclusionary, and quite frankly drive out others who don’t behave in the same way. Female leaders more frequently bring the listening and probing skills necessary for balanced discussion and decision-making, so that EVERYONE is included in the conversation.
Women and men think differently, communicate differently and solve problems differently. A balance of men and women will ALWAYS develop a better product, service or solution for your customers; and importantly, will create an environment that fosters respect and inclusion, and won’t tolerate anything less.
If you would like to learn more about the leadership behaviors your organization should have, please see Chapter 5 in my new book, Money On The Table, available here.