Women Are Flexible Traditionally They Have
Women are flexible. Traditionally they have spent their lives fitting in with others and responding to their demands. Maintaining the balance between home and work means that responding to change and adapting becomes instinctive as does the ability to operate simultaneously at a variety of levels, putting yourself in other people's shoes; for example, as a customer again, a life skill for most women'. Indeed several of the managers interviewed felt that women would not just be responding to change, but that they would be leading cultural change in their organizations.
At this time of turbulent and often threatening change, managers need to discover ways of dealing with disruptions and upheavals, whilst maintaining a degree of stability for those around them. The views of one woman manager on how her female colleagues might handle such uncertainty are interesting: I see managers as existing only because of change. If the world were static, everyone would know what to do, so they wouldn't need managing. Management is about creating the environment in which others can thrive and perform well. Indeed, managing change is the skill both of the present and of the future. And, yes, looking about me, I see more women than men who are able to respond in a non-threatening way to the '"soft" skills that a climate of change requires Some men can too but there does seem to be a gender advantage for women. Nurture or nature, I can't say...'
This viewpoint was further underlined by another comment: 'Future managers will constantly need to initiate change and at the same time help people to seek as an adventure rather than as a threat'.
An experienced senior manager in local authority said: 'The key skills in strategic planning and responding to change involve the ability to plan and take action on several issues at once while being organized enough to inspire staff that you know where you're taking them and that there's no need to panic.'
She then encapsulated what many women see as one of their major assets. 'Multi-priority juggling is something I think more women are better at than men'.