‘Woman Up’ (and Win in Business): How Valuing Traditionally Female Strengths Gives You an Edge in a Changing World

To date, the caring, nurturing side of women has gone mostly unappreciated in the workplace. But as social media takes hold and changes the way we do business, organizations that understand the importance of these qualities are the ones that will grow and prosper.

We’re all aware of the glass ceiling, the wage gap, and the grim statistics that reveal women’s struggles for workplace equality. And a report from the Government Accountability Office shows that from 2000 to 2007 the number of women managers increased by only 1 percent (and they’re still paid less than their male counterparts). But something happened during this same seven-year span that is about to dramatically shift this lopsided picture – the rise of social media.

That’s right. As social media transforms the way the world does business, the qualities that make women women will become more valuable than they’ve ever been before.

There have been countless studies on gender differences. And no matter how you interpret them, they come to two general conclusions: Males are aggressive; females are nurturing. Men are competitive, combative, and individually centered. Women are collaborative, communicative, and community-centered.

Indeed, a 2008 issue of the McKinsey Quarterly noted that women tend to make deeper emotional connections with colleagues and business partners. Women leaders tend to exhibit more social and emotional skills – sharing, caring, and putting others first.

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About the Author

Barry Libert is the author of Social Nation: How to Harness the Power of Social Media to Attract Customers, Motivate Employees, and Grow Your Business. He is Chairman and CEO of Mzinga®, the leading provider of social software, services, and analytics that improve business performance. Barry has published five books on the value of social and information networks. He is a regularly featured keynote speaker at industry associations and for leading companies on the power of social media. He has been published in Newsweek, Smart Money, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, and he has appeared on CNN, CNBC, and NPR. Barry currently serves on the Board of Directors at Innocentive and The SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. To learn more about Barry, click here.

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