The business environment is changing. We are moving away from the left-brained logic of the past towards an environment in which organisations need to connect with their customers, employees and shareholders at an emotional level.
Customers are increasing the emphasis they place on the aesthetic qualities of products, shareholders are enquiring about a company’s ethical policies before purchasing shares and employees want to be engaged, not simply employed. Business is therefore becoming more right-brained.
According to the Cambridge University psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen, an expert in the differences between male and female brains, “The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems.” Since both of these qualities are important, is there not an argument for companies appointing more women to senior positions, not for reasons of fairness or equality, but because it makes good business sense? However, even today, men outnumber women in senior management and board positions by a ratio of roughly 10 to 1.
In her article Do Women Make Better Managers Joanna Krotz links the increasing need for right-brain thinking to the increasing success of women in business. Gregg Dyke, the former Director General of the BBC made a similar point when interviewed on Radio 4 in 2006; he said that right-brained thinking was becoming increasingly important and that of the people in the BBC he regarded as most suitable for promotion to senior management positions, 80% of them were women.
What do you think? Please add your comments to the blog.