Sexist Misogynistic Over Opinionated Dictators
It’s a hot topic, this diversity stuff. Even my evenings with friends can get dominated by the subject – and I’m beginning to think that there may be an unhealthy obsession with this in the workplace, despite my opinion that diversity is critical to success.
People who think the same way cannot innovate together – my eldest son said to me recently that the problem with adults is they’ve forgotten how to dream, and don’t question ‘facts’ enough. (Which made me think we should have some under 16’s as consultants, but that’s a blog for another day)
Not one person we spoke to thought there was anything wrong with giving up a seat on a train for another person who you felt needed it more than you. An elderly gentleman, someone on crutches and yes, in almost all cases the mixed groups around us felt it was OK to give up your seat to a lady.
Thankfully 100% agreed that if that lady was pregnant, it was the duty of any passenger (male or female) to give over their seat.
We concluded that it was nothing to do with sexism, and all to do with manners. Some people have different values, dependent on upbringing, age and culture.
Guess what? It’s the same in the workplace – people are people. Everyone is different, and creating a policy conformist playbook, an extremist HR policy, or a fixed target is the wrong way to ensure that diversity is valued.
Recently I looked at the perceived culture fit of men vs women. Just over 400 managers were assessed by their teams on a number of behaviours (3500+ respondents). Whilst individuals had dramatically different results, when viewed together the conclusion can only be that people are people regardless of gender (or orientation, or race for that matter).