Female Values At Work

Female Values At Work

Female Values at Work

While few women disagreed with the list of skills set down in the Institute of Management's report, most of them felt it was rather limited and had their own ideas on how to expand it to suit the reality of working for companies and organizations in the next century. For example, one of the women said: I think imagination and courage will become more important, as will social responsibility and sense of purpose for companies', while another pointed out: But organizations will need expertise in financial control to underpin all these other skills. Indeed, several women made a point of including the harder financial and analytical skills as well.

The ability to balance personal and professional lives is also seen as a crucial requirement for successful women managers. They need to learn to align their personal and professional selves to ensure that they can function as a whole person and can fulfil their potential. They must allow themselves to develop along these lines, so they do not have to adopt a "work" persona and a domesticpersona in potential conflict'. Maintaining this balance and coping with stress are vitally important, as the problem of balancing home and work life has the potential to restrict the career development of a great many women.

Sheila Forbes, who was until recently Director of Human Resources at Reed Elsevier plc, identifies yet another set of skills as becoming progressively important: This is to do with multi-cultural management. Increasing numbers of companies are doing business internationally, competition is no longer national - even for some medium/small companies - and acquiring the skills of managing successfully in different cultures will become more and more essential. This adds a further dimension to the already complex career-management issues for women, because it means developing language skills and accepting secondments outside the home country'.

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