Might women be the key to our economic salvation? Perhaps I am biased, but after reading the New York Times article, Mistresses of the Universe, it’s hard not to agree with this notion.
According to the author (and corroborated by countless studies), elevated testosterone levels often lead to greater assumption of risk. So is it any coincidence that male-dominated Wall Street just placed far too many leveraged bets? No, we can’t place the country’s peril on the shoulders of men, nor are women the panacea for the nation’s problems, but, it is interesting to think of how more estrogen might have changed the course of the financial market’s future.
After all, women have made quite a few marks in history. Marie Curie introduced the world to X-ray and radium therapy. Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Rosa Parks sparked the Civil Rights Movement. With accomplishments like these, it’s no wonder why we encourage diversity in our schools, in our communities, in our organizations.
According to research, women are more risk averse and less susceptible to peer pressure. Perhaps we need more gender diversity at the top — and not just in the private sector, but in the nonprofit sector, too! The Bayer Center’s 2008 Wage and Benefit Study found the majority of executive directors are female, but NOT in the largest organizations. This begs an enduring question, how do we see greater shared power among our leaders?