Each day there is a new conversation on the topic of gender equality, which is by definition the rights and opportunities unaffected by gender. Seemingly we’re at a crux on the issue. The concepts and frameworks that organisations adhere to, namely, awarding the end results of the workforce, is a dated concept that is impacting the relationship that men and women are having in a workplace environment. As highlighted in the book, men are more comfortable with this model of work in organisations and as such seemingly perform better, whereas women under this structure feel that organisations are not valuing, supporting and offering advancement to them and as such seeking opportunities elsewhere with organisations that align with the same values and principles. But this isn’t a one-sided issue. It’s actually quite the contrary. Men assume that women seek appreciation in the same way they do and as such encountering internal and occasional external conflict which is bringing them displeasure at work. This is where, quite interestingly, Barbara Annis (world renowned expert on gender intelligence) and John Gray (author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus) offer us, through extensive research, stories and expertise, a way to understand under the concept of gender blind spots, an opportunity to understand our differences better to develop stronger, healthier and more fulfilling work based relationships rather than work towards gender sameness which isn’t going to be successful as we’ve each got different needs, goals and expectations.
Admittedly, although the concepts explored are interesting, it is quite a difficult book to read through in quick succession, it isn’t something you’ll be able to crack and master in one night. Rather, as the content is extensive and each segment takes time to review and consider, so will it be in practice. It’ll be one of those books to use as a point of reference, allowing you each time you encounter a particularly difficult circumstance at work to workshop and aid you in moving that relationship in a more healthier and beneficial direction.
It brings an alternative and well reasoned perspective to the table on the gender equality topic. One which I think is suited to those that do seek value and advancement in the workplace as well as to use as a means to remodel the structures of an organisation to one that benefits each and every individual which will in turn benefit the organisation overall and ultimately society.
Barbara Annis and John Gray
Published May, 2014.