Ok people I can see that you can see that I am fired up right now, and with good reason.
I just spent all day recently on the #GirlsWhoPrint Day annual conference online (replays here) in which we had nineteen powerful and influential women in the print industry talking strategy, future planning, and thriving in the global marketplace.
It was exhilarating, motivating, and empowering.
In the aftermath, however, I realize and acknowledge that women are still underrepresented in leadership positions in every industry in America.
I am here today to talk about sales and marketing, because, as you might know, that is my JAM.
Workforce development is a hot topic right now, as indicated by the fact that as much as 2/3rds of the American workforce are looking for new opportunities and reevaluating their values regarding work and career. It is being called The Great Resignation or The Great Reshuffling.
What this means for you if you are a manager, business owner, or even member of a team, is that intentionality when it comes to building your team for the future is crucial.
Who you put on your team moving forward matters.
Now is the time to consider a real effort in making sure that women are represented on your teams, and that focusing on their career development is everyone’s responsibility.
And here’s the good news.
In many cases, WOMEN ARE BETTER.
Yep – I said it. Women are far superior in many facets of measurable strategic traits that make growing your company possible.
So here goes.
1. Women are better listeners.
From a Forbes article entitled Age, Gender and Ability to Listen: Who Listens Best
2. Women bring less ego to the table. I googled this and came up with many articles discussing how to deal with male egos at work, so I decided to just let this one be represented by my own personal 51 years of anecdotal research on this topic. According to ME, men bring more ego-related issues to damn near everything in life. I said it. Fight me.
3. Women are problem solvers. There are two sound bites I am going to share surrounding this one. One is from a very long paper I did not read: “Individual item analysis of the PSI revealed that males scored significantly better on problem-solving items related to perceived confidence and ability and females scored significantly better on problem-solving items related to emotional awareness and deliberation.”
I will summarize.
Men are better at solving problems because they are confident they can. Women solve problems because they think and feel. Which one is better? YOU decide.
4. Women are more collaborative: according to a recent Harvard Business Review article, “studies have shown that women are more likely to care for the collective, which means they are more likely to step in when they see a gap or ambiguity. Researcher, consultant, and author Pam Heim found that women are more likely to agree with the statement “Being a good team player means helping all of my colleagues with what they need to get done.” In contrast, men are more likely to agree with the statement “Being a good team player is knowing your position and playing it well.” In organizations that get work done through informal project teams or that have overlapping accountabilities, this difference in perspective has implications for the way the men and women engage in collaboration.
Conclusion: Women help more for the good of the entire team regardless of the cost to themselves.
5. Women are more likely to be allies to other underrepresented groups like people of color and people who identify as LGBTQ. Thus far, that allyship has gone unrecognized in most workplaces. You can read more about this in the recent Women in the Workplace study by McKinsey here.
“Allyship is a process, and everyone has more to learn. Allyship involves a lot of listening. Sometimes, people say “doing ally work” or “acting in solidarity with” to reference the fact that “ally” is not an identity, it is an ongoing and lifelong process that involves a lot of work.
One type of ally is a white ally. A white ally acknowledges the limits of her/his/their knowledge about other people’s experiences but doesn’t use that as a reason not to think and/or act. A white ally does not remain silent but confronts racism as it comes up daily, but also seeks to deconstruct it institutionally and live in a way that challenges systemic oppression, at the risk of experiencing some of that oppression. Being a white ally entails building relationships with both people of color, and also with white people in order to challenge them in their thinking about race. White allies don’t have it all figured out, but are committed to non-complacency”
TriCollege Libraries Research Guide: Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore
If you’ve read this far, I hope you realize that this position is about balance and not total domination. Adding more women to your team carries many benefits, and I hope that you, as a leader of your company, will take steps to diversify your teams.
As a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, and Girl #2 at #GirlsWhoPrint, Kelly Mallozzi advocates for graphic arts companies to keep fighting to keep print relevant. She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.
Kelly is a regular co-host on the #GirlsWhoPrint Podcast along with Deborah Corn. She is also a mentor to several future sales stars. Check out her book, co-authored by Bill Farquharson: Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How. Kelly also occasionally guest blogs at Printing Impressions and you can see her most recent posts here.