The expectation on today’s professionals has changed drastically in recent years. Influencing skills are becoming increasingly crucial to success everyday. Although the numbers of men and women in R&D, Engineering and IT are becoming more evenly split, management is still predominately male. Men and women have distinctive ways of thinking and working. The ability for men to be attuned to these differences especially in organizations that still think and manage, in very traditional male ways, is difficult. Unacceptable employee satisfaction scores and retention rates of women vs. those of men is an indicator of a systemic problem that must be addressed.
It is unfair to expect men to adapt to the ever-changing environment and associated expectations without proper training. Men need different skill sets and understanding of the changing paradigms in order to communicate and manage more effectively. Beyond gender issues initiatives, economic pressures are forcing many corporations to create leaner organizations that can deliver greater productivity by leveraging every employee to their maximum potential. Traditional hierarchical, rule oriented, task driven and punitive management approaches prevent these new leaner initiatives from reaching their potential.