Edited by Susan Vinnicombe, Ronald J. Burke, Stacy Blake-Beard and Lynda L. Moore
Chapter 4: Stop fixing women, start building management competencies
It is time for some radically new approaches to gender in business. Time to understand that the incremental changes that we have introduced in the twentieth century are not sufficient to respond to the needs of this century. The twenty-first-century world has changed, the data have transformed and markets have shifted globally. Economic crises and crises of leadership are calling for new ways of seeing – and running – economies and companies. It is urgent that business leaders recognize the extraordinary and transformational business opportunities that can be unleashed by a strategic management of gender. Companies, managers and women, all feel frustrated. We have been on this gender journey for decades, and have not achieved what so many had hoped. Companies are still run mostly by men and most people – both men and women – do not really understand why. Men usually point the finger at women. Women mostly point the finger at men. Until we put our heads together to work these issues out, we will get nowhere. This chapter proposes to look at two things. First, an attempt to explain how we got to where we are. Why are so many well-meaning efforts not delivering what we thought they would? The second part seeks to suggest a new way forward. One that gets the right people asking the right questions – and being accountable for their answers.
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