Whilst writing Wonder Women in Marketing we did lots of reading and have included a Further Reading section in the book. One of the books is Mary Portas’ book ‘Work like a Woman – A Manifesto for Change’. She argues we need to move away from outdated alpha male cultures in business. The system isn’t working for women, it’s probably not working for many men and it’s unlikely to work for Milllenials and iGens.
In the alpha male working culture success is defined by working long hours, risk taking, competitive behaviour, ruthlessness, logical thinking, control, money and status, ‘it’s business not personal’, maximisation of profits, hiding emotions – and choosing work as a priority over family and leisure.
Women may aspire to leadership, but they don’t want to become leaders in this environment, so it’s hardly surprising that we’re not moving the needle.
To be relevant to the ever-changing needs of the workforce in the 21st century, we need to shift the norms and develop business cultures that enable greater flexibility, where success is also defined by collaborative working, good listening, willingness to learn, transparency, emotional intelligence – and a balanced and full life.
To quote Mary Portas : “It’s about learning to value the power of feminine characteristics, embracing them in the way we work and blending the best of both genders to make us all more productive, powerful and in harmony”