Old World Models
On my last flight, I revealed my bias. I had presumed that because my flight attendant was a Gen-X woman, she would be partial towards my choice of labeling the woman-changing-the-infant icon as “sexist.” Neutral language is “traditionalist.” I knew better, and took a risk.
The flight attendant responded in offense, and to my double-surprise, said, “If we put an image of a man, then it would be sexist against men!”
“Well,” I shared, “we could have an icon of an adult changing a child. Some infants do not have mothers, or a female caregiver traveling with them, or they have two dads.”
The challenge here is to shift old world paradigms to reflect modern society (while being sensitive towards those not ready to adapt). Many leaders are trapped into societal models lost in time. This inability to adapt to current social dynamics creates limitations in economic ingenuity, market attraction, and talent retention.
The internet is “flattening the world” which is giving rise in emerging markets and consumer behavior in regions which have feminine cultural preferences. This means that despite the global business language being American English, there is a rise in communication style which is deductive, high context, and indirect – all preferences that are more readily understood by women and preferred in most areas of the world. [See L’écriture féminine in blog 5 Stages towards a Global Mindset].
Graduates coming out of our top business schools total 51% female students for Rutgers Business School, 42% female for Wharton School, and 41% female for Harvard Business School (the average percentage of female students in business school across North America is 27%). There is untapped market potential left on the table because the antiquated corporate reasoning is to have more women communicate and behave like the all-white male C-suite, as opposed to all sides understanding how to adapt to other communication styles.
From the top-down, cultural awareness workshops are required to heighten awareness so that we can strategize how we can maintain our position as the world market leader. It’s time for companies to understand how to appeal towards other styles.
It’s a brave New World.
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, a Global Leadership program provider, and the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a diverse consultancy of OD experts and strategic thinking partners. We increase retention. Visit CorporateLookingGlass.com.
© Rossina Gil, 2014
Brand new Boeing aircraft
Kimball, Amanda. 2014 UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders: A Census of Women Directors and Executive Officers. http://gsm.ucdavis.edu/uc-davis-annual-study-california-women-business-leaders
Posted on December 8, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged Boeing, cultural imperialism, ethnocentrism, feminine cultures, Global Mindset, HBS, New World, Rutgers Business School, traditionalism, traditionalist, Wharton School, women in graduate school. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.