Law vs Sexism

Larissa Yuzhaninova

Advantages of a harmonious combination of masculine and feminine approach became the requirement for the formation of administrative structures in many large companies. Thus, in France, these requirements have already been transferred into the legal basis. The state adopted a law according to which, by 2017 40% of places in boards of directors of public companies, as well as in companies with a turn more than 50 million Euros a year should belong to women. For non-performance of this quota people will face serious sanctions: the appointment of male directors in this case will be considered illegitimate. Moreover, without the necessary 40% of women the companies will be inhibited from paying for work of the entire Board! By the way, have you seen a new Cabinet of Ministers in France? Half of them are good-looking (and - I'm sure - explanatory, professional) Madams. In 2007 the similar law was adopted in Spain, where the introduction of a compulsory 40% quota is set for 2015. Norway has already established quotas for female leaders. In Russia they're also starting to work over a gender quoting bill.

A number of active groups from different sectors - big business, politicians, official women's structure and the scientific community joined this work in Russia. Vladimir Putin cautiously expressed his opinion: he would be ready to support any decision of women’s representation in the authorities if it was accepted as a result of extensive public discussion. Some men from power structures chuckle in informal conversations, observing this process: well-well, punch the law. Even if it's adopted, our wives, daughters and mistresses will take the quota seats. And everything will be as it should...

I don't know what the situation will be after the adoption of gender quotas law. Sometimes Russian reality changes so rapidly and unexpectedly, that all the forecasts and predictions are useless. This article answers the question why it's necessary to put an end to the male monopoly in power.

The disliked truth

Boris Groysberg's research, who is a professor of Harvard business school, testifies that when having a job change, women professionals keep higher indicators of productivity unlike their male colleagues, who often don't justify their 'star' status at a new job. The matter is that women pay more attention to relations outside the company and carefully analyze their potential employer. Because of this they make fewer mistakes and in a less degree depend on complex relationships within a company.

One more nuance, which is important. As a whole, women are more inclined to empathy and possess stronger visual memory. They know how to read and interpret facial expressions better than men - the most valuable quality at negotiations. Women are better at multitasking. Men's brain can process twice as fewer words than women’s brain; therefore they are inclined to 'fall out' from a long and verbose discussion. When the situation is heating up, men tend to behave more aggressively, whereas women tend to smooth out the corners and reach an agreement.

And, finally, one more thing. Specialists of the Catalyst Company are sure that, the more women they have among the heads of the company, the greater their chances for prosperity. But the effectiveness of top management, based on gender disaggregation, is about 35% higher than in

'same-sex' male leadership teams. Women, unlike men, possess such qualities, as well developed natural intuition, thoroughness, and detail, thorough approach to solving problems, lack of risk appetite, rapid and hasty decisions.

The best illustration for this research is the success of countries and companies led by women. Norway, Germany, Finland...

Grow androgyny

If, after all, a woman becomes a manager in Russia, she is estimated according to man's standards - at least today. Playing by the imposed rules, imitating a man, the woman started smoking. Imitating a man, she put on trousers. The woman «switched on» authoritarian leadership. And she forgot about the advantages which the Mother Nature and the changing society gave her.

Meanwhile, our society has long been giving priority not to muscles but to intelligence. Now emotions, creativity and other intangible assets solve a lot of things. Here's the field where we can and should play! A female head has a more subtle social intelligence, better feels the nuances of relationships. So, using a congenital emotionality and verbal intelligence, she much quicker and easier reaches her goals. A little time has passed since the arrival of the first business ladies to management in modern Russia. But this time has already changed something in us. For example, it became obvious that everything changes – both men, and women. And soon we'll have to clarify the 'sexual question.' Already now it's obvious, that to divide managers into men and women strictly on the basis of sex, is inaccurate, or to be exact insufficiently. Experts more often began to speak about such gradation, as social gender, which in ordinary formulation is: to what extent we've typically male and typically female features. Gender or social gender allows estimating the level of typically male or typically female in each of us. There even appeared a special term - androgyny, proposed by Sandra Bem (Sandra L. Bem, 1974). If 'androgen' has harmoniously presented female and male features on the principle of complementarily, it greatly increases his adaptive capabilities. It's clearly seen, if a person becomes a manager.

Probably, gender quoting law will be adopted also in Russia. Most likely, it will be leveled by usual, familiar and simple Russian practice: one law for the rich and another for the poor. The life itself will 'put an end' to male chauvinism in the Russian government. It'll force, make us strive after a useful combination and proper use of male and female approach in management. 

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