n HR Future - Manage gender differences with sensitivity - gender gap

Volume 2020 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1608-8506


HR needs to understand gender issues. This understanding should be wbased on awareness of the nuances of the situation in your own organisation and on reputable academic research. Research shows that there are many gender differences and a recent paper reveals a gender difference that is important to organisations: attitudes towards competitiveness. It’s a good test case for thinking how we want to approach gender issues given the evidence. As soon as one discusses research on gender differences, one enters into a potentially emotional domain. There are a few points one should communicate up front to allay concerns: Different doesn’t mean better or worse – it just means different. Japanese are more likely to enjoy sushi than Russians. This doesn’t mean one nationality is better, just that there are differences which could be useful in picking a menu. Different doesn’t mean everyone in a category is the same. It just means that there is a statistically relevant difference. Some Japanese won’t like sushi as much as some Russians. This is important to keep top of mind because, if we are dealing with individuals rather than groups, we need to look at their individual attributes, not infer them from the group they are in.

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