Gender Differences In Business Roles

Gift university

Gender Differences in Business Roles

Prepared For Madam Saira Azad

Prepared By Zain Hameed

Business Comm. & RW

BY: Zain Hameed

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Gender Differences In Business Roles

Gift university

Date

January 10, 2008

Letter of Transmittal

GIFT University Gujranwala, Pakistan January, 09, 2008

Miss Saira Azad GIFT University Gujranwala, Pakistan Dear Madam, The report is focused on identifying gender differences and then applying these differences in business scenario. I am very thankful to you that you gave me the opportunity to work on such topic, which really made me aware of a lot of hidden facts about Gender differences in business roles. You helped me a lot in defining this topic. I am very grateful to you that you think me capable of this. Really, I have given my full in this report. I hope it will be above your expectations. Yours affectionately,

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Table of Contents
Topics Detail
Executive Summary Introduction Background Discussion Leadership style Business Communication styles Entrepreneurship Salaries Employment conditions Conclusion References

Page Number
1 2 3 7 7 8 9 9 10 11 13

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Executive Summary
The report is about identifying physical, historical, psychological, and perceptional differences among men and women, and then applying it in business context. While doing it, it was found that women are far more different from men in above described criteria. Women and men have different roles to play in their personal and social lives. Men are, usually, considered as financial earners and women as “caretakers” of domestic matters. These personal and social roles also affect professional life, and this is the reason why men and women also differ in business life. This is followed by some background information that tells how and why men and women differ from each other. The difference is not new; it evolved with the evolution of these two genders. From the very start of life, man was more aggressive as compared to woman, and this aggressiveness caused man to work and woman to settle. From here, social roles were segregated, and differences evolved. Women are more formal as compared to men. Women tend to save more, while men are naturally careless about saving. Women are less wise as compared to men in terms of spending money. Also, women are more formal about their dressing as compared to men even for little occasions. Due to historical reasons, that created difference in men and women personalities, women created a sense of inferiority in them. This sense of inferiority speaks in most of their professional and social roles. Then men and women are differentiated in business settings, which was the main focus of this report. Different dimensions like leadership, entrepreneurship, Business communication styles, Salaries, and employment conditions are considered while making this differentiation. Women leaders are usually less successful as compared to male ones, because characteristics of a successful leader match more with masculine characteristics. Women are more likely to start feminine businesses such as boutique, beauty-parlor etc. Women are less confident, more possessive, and good listeners, while practicing communication in business, as compared to men. In general, men are getting higher compensations than women, but it is not true if we go in detail. In some occupation

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women are equal, in some slightly behind, and in some are even ahead of men regarding salaries. Also women require special working conditions as compared to those required by men. Hence, men and women are elementary part of life, and cannot exist without each other. They depend on each other in their personal, social and professional lives, so they have to understand the differences among each other, and should try to diminish these differences. It should not be a one-sided effort; rather both of them should contribute positively in removing the above described differences or even try to eliminate the negative impact of these differences.

Introduction
This report is concerned with defining and comparing men and women roles regarding business. It is a known fact that men and women really differ in a variety of aspects. Both of them have different physiques, metal approach, behavior, physical appearance, etc. as compared to each other. Having such great differences, still they have to interact with each other in their personal, social, and professional life, and they are successfully handling this interaction. If we see two dogs or any pair of animals sitting beside each other, then we will observe that they will not remain in peace if they feel any differences. This is not the case, usually, with human beings. They are more social, and have ability to understand and manage differences. Same is the case with men and women issues. Despite of a lot of different characteristics, men and women are still called as “two wheels of life”. It means that both of them are vital elements of world’s life. Now it is also admitted fact that two different people behave differently in a given set of circumstances, because human behavior is formed by his attitude, and attitude is a function of characteristics. It means if two people differ in characteristics, their tendencies will also be different. Now, as discussed above, men and women are also far different from each other, and also behave differently when observed in a given scenario. For e.g. response of a bunk call by a woman will likely to be different with that of a man. Business is also a vital part of modern life, and we must know gender characteristics regarding business in order to successfully conduct it. We should know that how to deal with a company’s Purchase manager, how to impress boss, how to attract a company’s Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 6

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marketing manager to get advertisements, etc. Our behavior towards each of above discussed personnel will be different if we consider their gender. It means, in business scenario, gender characteristics really affect decisions, so it is important to consider gender characteristics of people while making business plans and decisions. Despite of their differences, both genders still have a lot of attraction for each other. This attraction also affects their professional interactions, and, by including this variable, men and women relationship becomes more complex. Some times ego is also attached with their relationship. Men, usually sitting and higher hierarchies of business, feel jealous of women coming by them of going above them, and this is because of the ego developed in men’s minds. Since very early times, man feels that he is the king of the life and women are just to serve him. This thought is gone by time, but it still has its traces behind, and these are the traces of this thought that develop such ego in men’s minds, and he, usually, hinders the way of woman’s progress in her professional life. Now, it is another variable, and things will become more complex by including it in discussion. Men and women have different roles to play in society. In eastern countries, usually men are responsible for earning livelihood, and women are just to take care of domestic matters. No doubt, exceptions are there, but still tendency is as discussed above. In western countries, this trend is diminishing by time, as women are also financially contributing a lot in running the vehicle of a home, by offering their professional services to society, that is still absent in majority of eastern countries. Women are also expected to take care of children, cleanliness of home, cooking of food, shopping of grocery, etc. Women have these duties in their cart of responsibilities whether they are living in Nigeria or USA. These different societal roles also affect their roles in business. Women, throughout the world, face a lot of difficulties in managing business responsibilities along with their personal ones, so these difficulties change their roles and expectations in business world as compared to those of men.

Background
As discussed above, men are women are different in a lot of aspects. The focus of this report is to identify and then apply these differences in business scenario, but we Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 7

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must know them in detail before doing it, because, if someone wants to know different roles of different people, he must be in knowledge of these differences first. In this part of the report, these differences will be described in detail. I referred to a lot of websites to ascertain these differences, and I found a lot. I got a lot of psychological stuff, but a funny one attracted me more that had deep psychological logic in it. It was a community named as Fun Mansion. It has blogs, topics, discussions etc. It had a topic titled as “Battle of sexes”. One of its members, Kay, contributed beautifully in it, and I picked that contribution for here. Kay has given differences under certain headings. I have just chosen a few headings and concept. Kay has given beautifully worded examples, so I did not paraphrase these examples.

Names
Men and women also differ in calling names. Women tend to be more formal when they call others by names. Women, even in a group of friends, call each other by perfect names that show the formality in heir nature. In contrast to this, men usually call each other by casual names that show causality or informality of their nature. For e.g. If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call each other Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara. If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.

Eating out
It means that men tend to be more careless and generous while contributing in a bill or spending money, and women are more conscious about spending money. Women precisely calculate the amount of money to be spent; rather men are careless about it. It is the part of the nature. Men feel pride or prestige in spending money in the group of friends, but, usually, this is not the case with women. In short, men are careless about money and women are not. For e.g. When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in a $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back. When the women get their bill, out comes the pocket calculators. Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 8

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Money:
It differentiates men and women by the way they spend their money. Men will spend their money when they need a thing. They will be even ready to pay more for it, but if they do not need it, they will not even purchase it on discount. Women tend to purchase a thing on discount; even they do not need it. They just purchase it because it is on discount. It shows that men, usually, tend to spend their money more wisely as compared to women, but this is not a universal truth, so exceptions are still present. For e.g. A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need, but it's on sale.

Dressing Up
Women dress up for even small occasions. Even they dress up to visit neighbors. But men rarely dress up. They just dress up to go on marriages, meetings, funerals etc. It shows that men are less conscious about their dressing and are only formal when required, but women are over-conscious about their dressing. For e.g. A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail. A man will dress up for weddings and funerals. (Kay) Now let’s focus on some psychological factors. First of all, the question comes into mind that why this difference exists between men and women. The answer was given in a web article titled as “The bioelectrical difference between man and woman”. This article, first provides the reasons behind the differences, and then compares two genders. The difference in status between man and woman all over the world arose from the fact that man considers himself the giver, the provider, whereas woman considers herself the recipient. But who said that the receiver must necessarily be inferior? And if there were no one to receive, what use will there be for the giver? And vice-versa: if there is no giver, of what use will be the receiver? There is nothing superior and inferior in it.

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In fact, these two are complementary to each other and neither is independent of the other. They are interdependent; they are tied to each other. These are not two separate entities, but rather two sides of the same coin in which one gives and the other receives. Normally however, the very concept of the giver raises a picture of superiority within our minds. There is no reason why the receiver should be inferior. Many things are connected with this, however, and the status of women has been accepted as second to men. Not only men but also women have accepted this position. In fact, both are first in their respective places. There is no second place. Now this concept has had extensive consequences in many areas and it has permeated our entire civilization and culture. That is why man went hunting -- because he was aggressive. And the woman sat at home waiting for him; she accepted him naturally. He went to the fields, he harvested the crop, he worked in his shop, he flew airplanes, he went to the moon, and he went out to do all these things because he was aggressive. The woman sat at home waiting for him. She also did a great many things but was not aggressive; it was receptive. She set up man’s house, she gathered things together, and she kept everything in place. In all cultures the principle of stability is due to women. If the women were not there man would have been a wanderer, a vagabond; he could never set up a house. Man is never interested in saving. He earns, and there the matter ends; he is no longer interested. He is eager and anxious as long as he is fighting with the world, challenging the world; his attention is always turning to other places for conquest. Whatever he brings there is someone else looking after it all, saving it all and this individual has her own place, her own value. She is a complementary part of the whole situation, but as she does not go out to earn, as she does not accumulate, as she does not create, it seemed to her that she was lagging behind. This feeling entered even into very small things, and everywhere she began to feel a sense of inferiority that is absolutely unfounded. This inferiority brought evil results. As long as woman was uneducated she tolerated this inferiority, but now she will not. In order to break this sense of inferiority she has gone about doing exactly what men do. This will prove very detrimental to her. She can violate her basic personality, and this can

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have destructive results deep within her psyche. Now she wants to be on a level with man, but she cannot be like a man completely. She will only succeed in making herself a second-rate man; she cannot be a first-rate man. She can, if she chooses, make herself first rate in her womanhood. (The bioelectrical difference between man and woman)

Discussion
As men and women differ in a lot of aspects due to the history of their development, their attitudes, behaviors, roles and expectations are also different when they enter into business field. The difference is in their personalities and psychologies, and this difference is responsible for the difference in their leadership style, entrepreneurship, employment conditions, salaries, performance evaluations, business proposals, communication styles etc. Some of these differences will be discussed in the later part of this report.

Leadership style
Leadership is one of the vital dimensions of business life and expertise. Leadership is all about influencing a group of people so that they create a synergy and contribute to achieve a common goal. Personality traits are very important while defining a leader and his leadership style, and men and women, of course, have different personality traits most of the times. Susan Vinnicombe, Director of the Centre for Developing Women Business Leaders, addresses this issue as following. Women do have different leadership styles from men. As Bodyshop, founder Anita Roddick says: “I run my company according to feminine principles – principles of caring, making intuitive decisions, not getting hung up on hierarchy, having a sense of work as being part of your life, not separate from it; putting your labor where your love is, being responsible to the world in how you use your profits; recognizing the bottom line should stay at the bottom”. The problem with actually mapping these differences is that the successful male managerial stereotype is so strongly embedded in organizational life that female managers are pressured to conform to it, thereby confusing research results.

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Time after time in management development programmes at Cranfield, women managers demonstrate their different working styles. Using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator male managers consistently come out predominantly as Traditionalists (a mix of ‘sensing’ and ‘judgmental’). In contrast, female managers emerge as significantly more ‘intuitive’, combined with either ‘thinking’ as visionaries or ‘feeling’ as catalysts. The natural strength of the visionary is being strategic, while that of the catalyst is fostering higher productivity by personally motivating people. The problem with letting males dominate organizations, as we do, is that leadership style is narrowly defined. Whilst women constitute 41% of the European workforce, they occupy only 10% of management positions and represent a mere 1% of executive board members. Yet a recent survey on the most admired boards of Britain’s top 100 companies showed that they have larger boards, more women, more executive directors, their directors have more international experience and are better educated. This is a powerful business argument for greater diversity in leadership. (Vinnicombe Susan)

Business Communication Style
A good business proposal can be rejected if not communicated properly, an application for enhancement of pay can be perceived as greed if not written properly, and a casual compliment can be perceived as personal if the method of communication is not proper, so communication is very important in business scenario. Kathleen Spring addresses this issue beautifully in her article titled as “Gender differences in Business communication”. No doubt, men and women have different psychologies, and these different psychologies result in the shape of diverse communication styles. Usually, women are not considered as good communicators as compared to men, but still exceptions are there. Men become more successful in business as compared to women just because of these communication skills. Men are, usually very confident communicators, and their words show this confidence. In contrast, most of the times, women tend to use words that show lack of confidence even when they are confident. Also women tend to be more possessive as compared to men, as they are reluctant to stand in meetings and to offer someone to sit when they are sitting. Men use good humorous and sports examples to make their point Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 12

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clear, while women lack this ability, and fail to grab the interest of the audience most of the times. Everything is not negative about women’s communication. Researches has shown that women are very good listeners as compared to men. Men can only focus on one thing at a time, while women can even notice that someone is interested in their dressing style when they are attentively listening to someone else. (Spring Kathleen)

Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations, particularly new businesses generally in response to identified opportunities (Entrepreneurship). Entrepreneurship is such art that is highly associated with personal characteristics of the person practicing it. As men and women also differ in personal characteristics, It is wise to say that their entrepreneurship practices are also different. Both males and females exhibit a low level of entrepreneurship knowledge. Females, however, are more aware of their deficiencies in this knowledge area than are their male counterparts. Both sexes believe that further education can correct the knowledge problem. Although very interested in starting a business, females still are significantly less likely than males (62% vs. 72%) to want to start a business of their own. Both females and males overwhelmingly believe in the importance of giving back to the community—which goes beyond providing jobs. The findings of this study also suggest a significant paradox in the “preentrepreneurial” characteristics of female and male youth. Whereas the majority of students aspire to start their own businesses, they hold certain views that could be detrimental to entrepreneurial success. For example, more than half of the youth sampled believe that price changes are objectionable business responses to shifts in the cost of production or to changes in market demand. This pattern of response, moreover, is significantly more apparent in females than in males. (Kourilsky and Walstad)

Salaries
Men and women are, usually, involved, in different types of behaviors and attitudes at work, so it is not surprising to witness a slight difference in the compensations Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 13

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they get for these business services. A research has been done by Daniel E. Hecker regarding this issue. This research is published under the title of “Earnings of college graduates: Women compared with men”. The research findings are as following. Among college graduates aged 25 to 64, women’s median annual earnings were 73 percent of men’s in 1993. When median earnings of women are compared with those of men of a similar age and with similar levels of education, major fields of study, and occupational characteristics, however, the earnings gap narrowed progressively, although still spanning a wide range: in some cases, women earned nearly as much as, or even more than, men with the same characteristics, while in others, women earned much less. But a question is still there, “How much do women earn compared with men?” The short answer to this question is that there are many answers to it: in some fields of study and occupations women do particularly well in relation to men, in others they do not fare so well, and in still others they are in between. (Hecker Daniel)

Employment Conditions
Men and women have different roles to play in their social and personal lives, so it is easy to understand that these roles affect their professional lives as well. Due to different roles and duties in their personal lives, their demands regarding working conditions also differ. Usually men are more comfortable in long working hours, unexpected meetings, overwhelming work-pressure, and flexible timing issues as compared to women. This is because women have to pay a lot of other social and domestic responsibilities that is not the case with men. A research has been done in European Union regarding gender differences in working conditions. It is published under the title of “Gender, jobs and working conditions in the European Union”. The research addresses the issue as following. • The fundamental gender difference in working conditions is the fact that women continue to shoulder the main responsibility for running the home and looking after children, even when employed full-time. • There are major gender differences in working time patterns, especially in the volume of hours worked: women are more likely to be in part-time work

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Part-time jobs are segregated into a narrower range of occupations than full-time jobs and are typically lower-paid, more monotonous and with fewer opportunities for advancement. However, there are some more positive dimensions to the working conditions associated with part-time work: lower rates of exposure to physical, material and ergonomic hazards, a less intense pace of work, and more compatibility with social and family life.

Both men’s and women report that their work schedules tend to be compatible with their family and social life when they have ‘standard’ work schedules of daytime, weekday, fixed hours and if they do not work long full-time hours.

While there are gender differences in some aspects of working conditions there is not a systematic pattern in all the indicators investigated: many working conditions are more closely related to occupational position (or sector) than to gender per se.

When differences in men’s and women’s working conditions and occupational position are controlled in the analysis, we found that women were more susceptible to work-related ill-health than men.

The key working condition that reduces the ‘work-family’ compatibility of jobs for both women and men is long and unsocial hours. (Gender, jobs and working conditions in the European Union)

Conclusion
Men and women are, truly, essential elements of human life on this planet called as “Earth”. Life without each of them cannot be even imagined, but still it is also true that they are far more different from each other in many aspects. They have to interact with each other even with these differences, so a lot of problems occur during this interaction, whether this interaction is taking place in personal, social or professional scenario. For me, it is one of the fastest growing problems of the world at the time and has to be addressed properly. This problem also has its roots in business practices, as discussed in the earlier part of the report. If we go back in history, men were dominantly handling almost all the business of the world. Women entered into professional practices very late, so it is quite easy to understand that difficulties arose at that time. These difficulties are Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 15

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growing, as women are increasingly taking part in business. In order to remove these difficulties and solve such problems, men and women both have to alter their attitudes and behaviors in business. Usually, women are less successful in business as compared to men. This is because of above discussed characteristics differences in these characteristics in business. Women leaders are not as successful as male leaders are, as characteristics of successful leaders match with those of men. I suggest women leaders to forget that they are women, when they enter into a leadership role. They have to adopt characteristics of a successful leader regardless of the gender characteristics associated with them. Women also have less communication skills as compared to men, when they enter into business communication. Women are less confident, more possessive, less objective, and better listeners as compared to men. Women try to use confident words in their communication. They should try to avoid unnecessary details to sound more objective. Women communications also lack proper citation and exemplification, so they should also work on it. They should also, at least, try to hide their possessiveness. In general, women are also getting fewer salaries as compared to men. But if we go into detail, in some occupations they are even better than men regarding salaries. Also, women require special working conditions, which usually increases cost for their employers or at least they are perceived as costly. Women should try to accommodate with present working conditions as much as possible.

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References
“Entrepreneurship”. Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. 10-01-2008. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrepreneurship> “Gender, jobs and working conditions in the European Union”. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. 2002. Page 1-2 Hecker Daniel, “Earnings of college graduates: Women compared with men”. Monthly Labor Review, March 1998. Page 62 Kay1605(member), “difference between man and woman”. Sep 2006. 08-01-2008. http://www.funmansion.com/post/showthread.php?t=170 Kourilsky Marilyn and Walstad William, “Entrepreneurship and female youth:

knowledge, attitudes, gender differences, and educational practices”. 11 June 1998. Journal of Business Venturing Volume 13, Issue 1, January 1998, Pages 77-88. Spring Kathleen, “Gender differences in Business communication”. May 23,2001. PrincetonInfo.com. 08-01-2008. <http://www.princetoninfo.com/200105/10523s01.html> “The Bioelectrical Difference Between Man And Woman”. Yahoo Geocities. 08-012008.<http://www.geocities.com/kundalini48/kundalini7_bioelectrical_difference_betwee n.html> Vinnicombe Susan, “The Debate: Do men and women have different leadership styles?”. Cranfield School of Management. Management Focus Issue 12 Summer 1999

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