Gender diversity: a new competitive advantage?
Manasi Shukla (Bangkok University) and Aurilla Aurelie Arntzen (Buskerud University, Norway) presented a conceptual paper which explored gender diversity in management and systems design as an important element for competitive advantage.
They outlined the challenges many women face, whereby many systems and products are designed by men, without any significant consideration for female cognitive or physical elements. They suggested that a woman's response to "design shortfalls" is to dismiss or avoid using a particular product.
Shukla and Arntzen tentatively proposed a leadership practices inventory, to assist organisations design for, and accommodate, the needs of women. They asserted that organisations that take such steps have the opportunity to secure a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This is an interesting assertion—one that merits further research via the analysis of empirical data to determine if/how the practices they suggest are indeed significant. I look forward to reading more about this in the future.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and boardcraft; our place in the world; and other topics that catch my attention.