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Gender at work, one size does not fit all

Gender at work, one size does not fit all PurposeLeaders have learned to lead men. Women are different and organisations will need to adapt to maximise progress and performance of women as well as men. Line managers need to be aware of gender differences in their approach of a mixed gender team. The paper aims to discuss this issue.Design/methodology/approachIn a review of literature, key gender differences that could play a role at work were identified. Five top sports coaches were interviewed to find how they had to adapt to improve performance of female teams. Practical application of their strategies in organisations was tested in four workshops and 15 interviews with women and managers.FindingsSix key gender differences were identified. Top sports coaches confirmed that they had to adapt their style to a female team, and could relate those to some of the differences from literature. The workshops and interviews showed that teaching managers to adapt their style is a promising approach.Research limitations/implicationsThe research was set up to find if there is merit in being aware of gender differences in organisations. There is, but as it is exploratory research it is now important to find further evidence.Originality/valueGender diversity efforts tend to be focused on equality, flexible working, and upgrading women’s skills. This paper highlights that those initiatives are not enough, and organisations need to adapt to women’s needs to maximise performance and progress of women as well as men. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Industrial and Commercial Training Emerald Publishing

Gender at work, one size does not fit all

Industrial and Commercial Training , Volume 48 (7): 5 – Sep 5, 2016

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0019-7858
DOI
10.1108/ICT-01-2016-0010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeLeaders have learned to lead men. Women are different and organisations will need to adapt to maximise progress and performance of women as well as men. Line managers need to be aware of gender differences in their approach of a mixed gender team. The paper aims to discuss this issue.Design/methodology/approachIn a review of literature, key gender differences that could play a role at work were identified. Five top sports coaches were interviewed to find how they had to adapt to improve performance of female teams. Practical application of their strategies in organisations was tested in four workshops and 15 interviews with women and managers.FindingsSix key gender differences were identified. Top sports coaches confirmed that they had to adapt their style to a female team, and could relate those to some of the differences from literature. The workshops and interviews showed that teaching managers to adapt their style is a promising approach.Research limitations/implicationsThe research was set up to find if there is merit in being aware of gender differences in organisations. There is, but as it is exploratory research it is now important to find further evidence.Originality/valueGender diversity efforts tend to be focused on equality, flexible working, and upgrading women’s skills. This paper highlights that those initiatives are not enough, and organisations need to adapt to women’s needs to maximise performance and progress of women as well as men.

Journal

Industrial and Commercial TrainingEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 5, 2016

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