So what we all already subtly felt actually seems to be true: The same behaviour which is – shown by a man – valued, if not expected, is at the same time punished when seen in a woman!
This is somehow almost understandable considering the powerful social paradigms which created even more powerful gender stereotypes over the last hundreds of years. Change will come slowly and only through a lasting equal socialisation of boys and girls over generations. Who knows – maybe we will even find out about certain genetically determined differences which are so strongly being denied so far…
What can women do meanwhile?
This experiment´s result confirms my assumption that women have to learn politics, tactics and diplomacy in order to influence decision-making or even become the decider. This way they will be able to have an active impact on their company´s culture.
Women unfortunately still think that their content expertise, their methodic knowledge and their permanent dedication is sufficient. They find that these „games“ mainly played by men around them are ridiculous.
Statistics have clearly proven that this is wrong!
Therefore women should learn:
- to understand the various differences between men´s and women´s communication patterns
- to invest time in gaining access to relevant (side-) information
- to form strong (personal) networks with deciders and powerful influencers (even if they are not very fond of them)
- to become accepted into their inner circles
- to foster stakeholder contacts – give and get information early on
- to use contacts before important decisions are made
- to not rush ahead in supporting others too much because that gives weaker peers or bosses an opportunity to hide the results – or even use them for their own benefit! I know, women do this because the matter counts, but do you really want this person to rise in hierarchy and have more influence instead of you? No? Then try not to help – nobody will accuse you because the issue was not your responsibility in the first place.
- …and in case you do so nonetheless („the matter counts“): learn to make sure that the benefit will be yours in the end – do good and talk about it!
All this is not at all meant to imply that women have to behave like men.
On the contrary they have to discover their own genuine way of playing the games others put in front of them and therefore need to understand the rules of engagement.
© Dr. Cristina Barth Frazzetta