Talking about gender can be a minefield in business. But, while somewhat uncomfortable, the fact remains that men and women approach many things differently. Which includes achievement and feeling successful.
Numerous studies of successful entrepreneurs, leaders, and managers have found differences between how men and women define their own success and that of their teams and organizations.
Your Middle Market firm can learn some fantastic lessons by paying attention. You’ll help ensure your employees are happy and have the structures in place to grow how they desire.
Understanding Differences And How To Interpret Results
While these studies hold some intriguing results, they aren’t inclusive of every member of a gender. Don’t get stuck on making sure your Middle Market firm caters to what men want vs. what women want. Instead, it’s vital you view the information in the whole and make widespread, beneficial changes.
Studies by the Harvard Business School, Spark Business Barometer, and Vanderbilt University found significant differences in what men and women value in regards to achievement, work, and life and what exactly defines success.
Without over-simplifying or generalizing things, women tend to value individual achievements. And, they align with wanting more passion in their careers. Also, making a difference is a key factor in their personal feelings of success and well-being. Women also put more emphasis on achieving work-life “balance” and incorporate their family and community well-being into their feelings of success. Women tend to have a less compartmentalized view of achievement. Instead, they look at the holistic view of their lives when determining if they feel successful.
Contrastingly, men typically view the achievements of their organizations, learning, and development as higher on their values scales. They also tend to view work-life balance as less important to their view of personal success and can work harder to cultivate careers that are higher impact and may require more time at work. Men also may compartmentalize their lives more when viewing their success. Success in their career could hold more value to men vs. the amount of time they spend at home, because their career provides for their family.
What Is Similar Regardless of Gender
Male and female employees valued family and relationships alike and both genders desire achievement and success. Both acknowledge needing and utilizing technology and found common challenges in putting technology to use but not being constantly tethered to it. Both genders acknowledge needing strong support both at home and at work to achieve goals and keep both spheres of their lives functioning well. Men and women need emotional support in the form of friends and family as well as professional networks and mentors. Support within the workplace is vital; it is difficult to feel successful if you don’t feel in sync with your teams and leadership. Both men and women wanted to participate in these studies and impart their feelings and knowledge to students. Both generally are happy despite ups and downs and very few shared how their career has detrimentally impacted their home lives.
What To Do With The Information
Understanding how different employees might define their own success and what they tend to place higher importance on in the workplace means you have a better insight into how to support and motivate your staff. Instead of focusing on each gender individually, make sure you have robust offerings everyone can benefit from.
Find out what is important to your employees and where they fall in line with or stray from the results. When you have a broad understanding of how men and women differ and agree on what success and achievement look and feel like, you’ll be well on your way to creating a Middle Market environment both genders can be fulfilled in.
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