I’ll Have One of Each

Diversity works best when teams are gender balanced.

It’s not good for man to be alone, God thought when he looked at Adam.

Hence: Eve.

Turns out that gender balanced teams are most effective, efficient and healthy in the workplace, too.  (Apples notwithstanding.)  A recent study by the London School of Business found that when women are in the minorityon a team,  they reach out to others outside the team. Ironically, the whole team benefits from their expanded networking…and thus the group is disproportionately helped by its minority members.

When men are outnumbered by women, it’s not such a positive experience. They tend to withdraw, and their loyalty to the organization (and presumably its mission) is weakened.  With women now half the workforce, and, broadly speaking, half of all managers and professionals, there’s no excuse not to have gender-balanced work teams. 

Think your company is short on qualified women? Here’s how to draw a few more into those career-building team assignments:

  • Find out who the women already on the team are networking with. Ask those women to join.
  • Reach one level below to identify high-potential women.  Typically, women are promoted on the basis of performance, and men, on the basis of potential. By pulling up a women who’s already on track for promotion, you’re just applying the male standard to her.
  • Think one step ahead in your process: What expertise will you need to test and then execute the project? Why not ask a woman who you’ll soon be working with to join the planning and leadership team?

Well…why not?


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