Stereotyping: 4 women, 4 continents, 1 man, 1 tweet

by | Jun 16, 2011

Stereotyping - to challenge or let go?

Foreword by Dorothy: One of the lessons I’ve learned from social media is to let go a lot of things that raise the proverbial eyebrows. Truthfully, there’s a lot of nonsense out there. However when a tweet from Grant Mason floated into my stream suggesting:

“MBA's are done by blokes in their 30s and 40's while women are doing career and mothering”  

My eyebrows remained up.

I felt that it would be absolutely negligent not to comment. I was soon joined by Lynne Barbour in South Africa, Kathy Korman Frey in the US and Cheyanne Ainsworth in Australia. 4 women, on 4 Continents, the topic all covered in guess – probably 4 minutes. The poor chap didn't stand a chance! 

The exchange was constructive, educational and supportive. Grant very graciously conceded that he had things to think about in terms of stereotyping. He thought. He wrote... and dedicated the post to the 4 of us. The lesson?

[Tweet "Confront one stereotypical thought at a time. Thank YOU Grant!"]

Hot mommas - from Grant Mason

4 Women, 4 Continents, 1 Man, 1 Tweet

Stereotyping 4 Women, 4 Continents, 1 Man, 1 Tweet

I don’t normally stay up late tweeting hot mommas, but the other night I did. It started with a typical stereotyping male comment to a tweet about why there are less women MBAs.

It was a warm exchange and included a great comment by @DorothyDalton that more than 3 women at any level changes the dynamic. With encouragement from @ChiefHotMomma and @lynnbarbour I started to think about the rise of women’s networks and social business. I think the two forces are ready to converge.

The next decade is a decade of social. The capability that organizations build in the next number of years will be the cultural infrastructure for the next phase of commerce and organizational development. Infrastructure in companies will not be about concrete or buildings or servers but about culture and capability of people.

With that in mind there is an untapped potential in organizations. Potential evolving from a strong vision and immense dedication that will soon transfer wonderfully into business success in the next decade.

Need support dealing with unconscious bias in your company contact 3Plus

The Women's Network.

For some the Women's network began as a not so secret club that the male dominated workforce gave a cynical wink at. Imagining a work style Tupperware party where women plotted against the glass ceiling at times made it hard to gather the momentum and credibility needed to go mainstream. In spite of this core skills and capability have been developed that will be critical for the social business era. Consider:

  1. The ability to reach out cross boundaries. Inside and outside of the organization. Women’s networks are great at this and have set a new standard of connecting across the silos.
  2. Focusing on non technical development. The skills that women’s networks build are non technical. Typically the focus is on building influence, resilience and leadership not how to do a narrow technical job. These skills are fundamental to the fast changing world we are facing.
  3. The ability to engage with senior leaders. Many organizations have taken seriously the development of women. While there is a long way to go, women in male dominated industries often have great exposure to senior leaders. The ability to relate and influence senior leaders is often intuitive in women. In an era where leadership will be more about influence than control this capability will also be important.

[Tweet "Social business will define the next decade. "]Leaders who can network across traditional boundaries, develop leadership in people, and influence others will be the leaders who succeed.

They may also help to reduce stereotyping.

By Grant Mason founder of Yackstar

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she joins the dots between organisations, individuals, opportunity and success.
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