Women in Information Technology and Management

Start from the beginning...
Starting from the beginning of civilization, we can look at social and work activity via the prism of collaboration and competition, conflicting aspects of human behavior. Omitting a lot of details and with great simplification, I'll try to outline the main points.

Competition is a natural way of survival behavior for all species, human or not, in environments with the limited resources. Evolution theory supports this view: species less suited to compete have to adapt or die out.

On the other hand, collaboration is about sharing resources and working together to achieve common goals. This might sound like a higher level activity in complete opposition to competition ideology. But let's take a closer look. In the most cases collaboration is a component of competition between groups. While individual competition drives change and innovation, collaboration increases stability of groups and puts less emphasis on individual achievements.

Through the history of civilization, men have usually played more competitive roles than women. Watching steadily growing number of women who participate in the workplace, we can expect another major shift: women might be better managers than men.

Women have better ability to multitasking and prefer collaboration over competition. Maybe this is a genetic feature. Men, on the other hand, tend to focus on specific problems and take risks in order to solve these problems. Of course, this does not mean that any woman is a better manager than any man or any man is better in competition than any woman. Generally speaking we all are subjects to normal or Gaussian distribution. But the Gauss' curves will show very different patterns of competitive and collaborative skills distribution for men and women.

Should we expect a quiet revolution in corporate management? A new generation of managers, mostly women, will introduce a new leadership style, improving corporate culture and stabilizing the economy. Society will follow the pattern and elect more women to government positions. This is already “work in progress”, coming slow but steadily.

We can expect changes in the rules of the workplace. For example, an extra tax for extra work hours. For both: the employers and the workers, the rule would establish a normal tax for the first six hours of work and double taxation beyond this time.

The benefits might include significant savings of health care expenses, improved workplace safety and worker’s health, a decreased number of sick days taken and an overall reduction in family emergency cases. There could be “side benefits” such as a decreased divorce rate and decreased unemployment.

There are social and demographic changes in the workforce visible today. More people retire early and more people consider family life a priority over work. This is just pure statistics, which eventually transform society, corporate and government rules.



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