On October 24, 2016, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Randi Zuckerberg on her show Dot Complicated for Wharton Business Radio. Randi and I then followed it up with a Q&A session for her #52Women52Weeks series on LinkedIn. Truly honored. Time to share this with you because this was a great conversation that took our ideas in new directions.
Randi has a format for asking interviewees to rate a statement “yea” or “nay.” Do you agree or disagree? They were tough questions. Read the recap of the entire interview by clicking on the title below and see if you agree with my yeas or nays:
I’ll highlight one of them for you. During her life’s journey, Randi has had many careers: Director of Market Development at Facebook (and Mark Zuckerberg’s sister), a Broadway actress, an author, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated, radio host for SiriusXM/Wharton Business Radio and currently a vocal advocate of women in the digital landscape. So I wasn’t at all startled by her question: “How can anthropological perspectives help women accelerate their roles as innovative leaders?” This was an easy yay!
It was so reflective of my own career that it was an opportunity for us to share our personal and professional experiences. As an executive in financial services and healthcare organizations, I have seen and experienced firsthand how gender matters. It didn’t matter what my title was, SVP or EVP. I was a woman and that influenced how people listened, embraced, negated or acted upon ideas.
Even today, men’s ideas and suggestions are listened to, women’s discounted
Research has shown, and my own experince bears out, that If a man suggests a course of action or an innovative solution to a problem, it is far more readily adopted than if a woman suggests the same approach. Similarly, in complex business cultures where women move into leadership roles, men often seem to be accepting but privately are not sure how to accept them, include them or take direction from them.
Research also proves that women-led organizations—even high-powered ones like hedge funds—often outperform their male-led counterparts.These facts, however, haven’t made it any easier for women to move into the tech world or any of the other major corporate environments.
Women (as we saw in our own Simon Associates Management Consultants research) prefer a business culture that is grounded in collaboration and teamwork…one which emphasizes the “we” much more than the “I.”
Women want results just as much as men do but choose different paths to get there
Taking this point further, Randi and I discussed how women prefer cultures where empowerment encourages people to take risks and assume responsibility for their ideas and actions. Both of us have found that women definitely want to lead, not follow, but they want to lead collaboratively.
Does your business need a boost? Could a little anthropology help?
At SAMC, we help organizations grow and thrive amidst today’s changing times. A major way we do that is by using the tools and methods of corporate anthropology to analyze and then adjust a company’s culture. Contact us for a free consultation. We’d love to talk with you.
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From Observation to Innovation
Corporate Anthropologist | President
Simon Associates Management Consultants