A book by Nicholas Sparks
Much of the recent attention devoted to diversity in the workplace has focused on such management issues as overcoming cultural barriers, avoiding stereotypes, and eliminating discrimination. But works such as John Fernandez'sThe Diversity Advantage(1993) … see full wiki
As Connie Glaser and Barbara Steinberg Smalley suggest in Swim with the Dolphins, the female temperament is better suited than is the male's to concluding "win-win" negotiations, resolving conflicts, reaching consensus, preferring to cooperate and collaborate rather than compete, keeping an open mind, asking direct and relevant but not insulting questions, etc. Rosener describes the female temperament in terms of "consensus building, power sharing, and comfort with ambiguity."
She examines five "stages" through which organizations must proceed if they are to undergo the transformation required by new realities as well as opportunities: Stage One: Staying Out of Trouble Stage Two: We Need to React Stage Three: It's a Case of Survival Stage Four: It's the Right Thing to Do Stage Five: It's Part of Our Culture
Females as well as males within an organization will proceed from one stage to the next at varying speeds and within varying timeframes. Fair enough. However, all must reach Stage Five. Rosener recommends that, from both a strategic and financial point of view, structural reorganization "should be undertaken in concert with efforts to rectify female underutilization. Flexibility and diversity are two keys to competitive advantage, and both are closely related to the underutilization issue."
So much in the business world has changed since 1995 when this book was first published. However, many American companies and most companies in other countries have yet to take full advantage of -- and reward appropriately -- the talents of women. The companies which do so have a significant competitive advantage, a "secret weapon" if you will. Professional women know at which companies they will be appreciated and rewarded, where there are the greatest opportunities for their personal as well as professional growth. It is no coincidence that these are the same companies which, year after year, are the most profitable in their respective industries. At least until now, many of our nation's companies seem unaware of or indifferent to this "competitive secret."
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