Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Is the gender differences debate largely an excuse?

There always seems to be a lot of articles on why there is a gender gap... why women and men think differently... why we react differently, etc. The debate between nature and nuture - how we are wired vs. how we are socialized - rages on.

I know that uncovering the root of a mystery, helps us towards a resolution. Finding a cure comes from seeking the cause. Correcting a behaviour is tied to pinpointing the source motivation.

But sometimes we can just start fixing and changing. While I'm just as fascinated with why as anyone else, it starts to feel like the research is an excuse to stall (how can we change a generation's thinking) or shrug in defeat (we're just wired that way).

Do we really need to know in order to see more women considered for top executive positions? Do we need to prove we can all get along to see a better mix on boards? Does our wiring matter when it comes to protecting the battered?

Colour should not matter. Race should not matter. Age should not matter. Gender should not matter. We need everyone's skills and all points of view to solve the big issues like poverty, peace and hunger.

Get over it, as my kid says. The debate is one piece of the puzzle... do more than debate; be an agent of change.

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