Barbie Does Diversity
Part 4 in a Series
It’s time to unmask our Barbie. It’s time to stand up for ourselves and not put our own selves in the same boxes that others want to put us in. To do that we’re going to need a paradigm shift:
A paradigm shift occurs whenever there’s a significant change in the way an individual or a group perceives something, and the old paradigm is replaced by a new way of thinking, or a new belief.
Moreover, paradigm shifts are “discontinuous”. Common wisdom has it that working ever more diligently within the existing paradigm just leads to greater frustration, not progress. Instead, we need to look at the problem in a fundamentally different way to solve the problem.1
The paradigm shift asks the question: “What today is impossible to do in your business, but if it could be done, it would fundamentally change the way you do business?” 2
My answer is this: To see women and men as different but as equals. The paradigm shift is about seeing business through men’s eyes and women’s eyes equally. Incorporating both the male and the female paradigm together. Side by side. That’s what’s required.
Women account for 6.4% of CEO’s in fortune 500 companies. Women make up less than 10% of the most senior level roles in Fortune 1000 companies. Yet, generally speaking, it’s proven that women are more engaged than men in corporations but they are among the least regarded. As a matter of fact, a recent study shows that women on average are 6% more engaged than men.3
In Gallop Poll, Women lead men on key workplace engagement measures. The combination of employee engagement and gender diversity resulted in 46% to 58% higher financial performance comparable revenue and net profit, respectively.4
So the business case for women being as successful as men at work is documented. The only thing standing in the way is our minds, our predispositions and our unconscious biases.
So, I say, bring it on now. Barbie is doing diversity.
- Why The Paradigm Shift In Management Is So Difficult by Steve Denning
- fromParadigms: The Business of Discovering the Future, by Joel Arthur Barker, William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1992.
- Gallop Poll, Women lead men on key workplace engagement measures)
- (Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies)