Look at this interesting story I found on BLR.com…seems a little controversial to me???????
The recession has been difficult for most Americans. But has it affected men more than women? Recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggest so. Recently released statistics from BLS show that 78 percent of jobs lost during the recession were held by men, and women’s wages have risen by 1.2 percent more than men’s over the past 2 years.
I don’t know if you can say to any degree of certainty that either gender has done better or worse than the other during the recession, but in my opinion women have adapted better than men.
Why might that be? There are a number of inherent qualities that may make women better suited to handle the challenges of the recession:
1. Women are used to stress
First, many women, regardless of industry, work in “boys club”-type environments. They are used to dealing with the added stress that comes with feeling as though they have to constantly be working at a higher level than the men at their organizations. Second, women are used to multitasking. They know that, often, others measure the success of women based on how well they juggle their work and home lives.
2. Women are not defined solely by their jobs
Men tend to measure their self-worth by how much money they are making, their ability to provide for their families, and their position at work. Women, however, tend to define themselves by their relationships inside and outside work. Because of this, women aren’t taking as big a hit to the ego as men, and that is helping women to keep their heads up during the recession.
3. Women build strong support networks
Throughout history, women have had to unite in order to gain equal footing with men both inside and outside the workplace. Women have well-organized associations and other groups because we have to. It provides the strength in numbers we need to ensure we keep making progress toward complete equality. These groups have been very beneficial in the recession because women know exactly where to go for advice and information.
4. Women are wired to do business by “relationship”
Because women tend to be more empathetic than men, building strong relationships often comes easier to them. They can tap into a caring nature more easily than most men, which helps them relate to business partners, clients, and employees who are struggling during this recession. Relationships are key right now.
5. Women are not afraid to tighten their belts
For companies, the recession means reduced spending, and that can sometimes translate to pay cuts and benefit cuts for employees—practices that tend to affect men more negatively (at least in an emotional sense) than women.
6. Women lead by consensus
Where men might take on an “every man for himself” mentality during the recession, women will use their ability to lead by consensus to provide value to their organizations. They involve their people in finding ways to cut costs, constantly remind them that they are important—a necessity when companies cannot offer raises or other rewards—and, in general, just try to be part of the solution.
7. Women are not afraid to seek out advice
It might be a stereotype, but the idea that men won’t stop to ask for directions when they are lost seems to hold true during a recession. Women simply seem more willing to seek out advice during economic hard times. Women are collaborative. They are more willing to take a let’s-get-through-this-together mentality. They don’t look at needing help as a sign of weakness.
8. Women know how to build the bench
Women know that investing in their employees or direct reports does not mean paying them more or promising big bonuses in the future. It means giving them the support they need, helping them find pride in their work, and giving them positive feedback and encouragement. All of these elements come together to help women build a strong bench—a team that is motivated to get the job done even when it takes more work for less reward.
Bottom line: Women make great leaders. And that is really shining through during the recession.
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