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Employment Today, HR Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Employment Today, HR Solutions - Thomson Reuters



Employment Today Magazine

Book Review — Results at the Top: Using Gender Intelligence to Create Breakthrough Growth

Results at the Top: Using Gender Intelligence to Create Breakthrough Growth

BARBARA ANNIS AND RICHARD NESBITT WILEY, NEW JERSEY

Results at the Top is written by two Canadian authors who make a compelling case for the connection between more women in leadership roles and better business performance. The authors argue that men should be driving this change and promoting the benefits of gender diversity, whereas previously this has always been viewed as a female issue that can be addressed through diversity training and women’s networks.

The book also debunks the view that men and women would be the same if only they had the same opportunities, instead arguing that men and women are fundamentally different and it is these very differences and diversity that should be embraced to create better business outcomes.

Results at the Top discusses three aspects of gender intelligence—an interesting chapter on neuroscience which examines the complementary natures of men and women; the ascent of women in both education and senior roles; and the ascent of men in their advocacy for more women in leadership.

The authors cite many male leaders who have already made the case for more gender diversity, and the benefits this has brought to their companies conversely, they consider some of the businesses negatively impacted in the global financial crisis and the predominantly male leadership teams that may have contributed to poor decision making and performance.

The authors provide both statistical evidence and anecdotal case studies to argue for corporate cultural change including examples from Nissan, eBay and Royal Bank of Canada.

With chapters on leadership accountability for diversity; the role of Millennials and why diversity is not a generational issue; the composition of boards and their influence on the diversity of gender, skills and background in management teams; management systems models including a “gender propensity index” to determine how well a company is managing diversity; examples of best practice for culture, recruitment and talent management (the authors refer to this as the “plumbing” of a business); and how to achieve gender success, the book keeps returning to the fact that gender intelligence creates competitive advantage, better performance and an improved bottom line.

This book is an interesting angle on a very relevant topic, with some practical ideas on why and how to implement greater diversity (and not just gender) in your organisation. I found the format of quotes from one author to the other throughout the chapters to illustrate their points a bit cumbersome, but otherwise it’s an easy read that conveys a clear message around why it is in everyone’s interest to embrace differences and use gender intelligence to improve productivity, performance and create outcomes of growth.

Reviewed by JO WALKINSHAW Group HR manager at Heritage Hotels.

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