The book ”Why women mean business”, by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland, was launched in Norway on 4 September. It represents a fresh approach to gender and management. Orkla was one of sponsors of the book launch.
The title “Why women mean business” can sum up the whole book, the whole philosophy, in fact, as the enthusiastic audience was to hear.
“Gender is a business issue, not a women’s issue. It’s about enabling people to realise their full potential,” underlined Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, who is currently lecturing all over Europe on questions of management and gender.The book’s reasoning is corroborated by large-scale US and European surveys, and it generally revolves around how companies ought to adapt to the new reality.
It turns out that the companies that have the most women in leadership outperform those with the fewest women.Talent is the most important factor, regardless of gender. By only hiring men, companies lose out on a great deal of managerial talent.
Women decideWomen make 80 per cent of consumer goods purchasing decisions and, according to the EU, they represent some 60 per cent of university graduates in Europe and North America. This in itself indicates that companies cannot close their eyes to striking a gender balance. Alison Maitland emphasises that this involves more than just talent, it is also about customers.
“Equal but different”
After spending several decades striving for women to be treated equally with men, it is interesting that Wittenberg-Cox contends that women must be treated both as equals to and as different from men.
“Companies must be more cognisant of the fact that men and women are different,” contends Wittenberg-Cox.Read more at www.whywomenmeanbusiness.com