Jan 15 2014

Groups are smarter with women (no duh!)

FinalMeetingImageGender keeps coming up in my work a lot lately, both as a theme for meetings and work, but also in my lived experience. I have a colleague who has taken over one of my clients because we both feel the client will take on the coaching and feedback better from another man than from me. In a conversation about social capital related investments, another colleague says his rule of thumb is to ad 10% to women they are investing in over the equal-on-paper men just because he knows it pays off. Women’s role in agriculture is finally being recognized in the international development world. And in many cases, it is the development of good data to support these hunches that is finally helping us get traction in USING what we know about gender. So this article comes as no surprise. Don’t stop at the first quote… read to the second one!

“If you want to create a team that works intelligently, put more women on it than men. According to studies conducted by , Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence…“More women was correlated with more intelligence,” he says.”

Here are the three factors that emerged from the research:

  • The average social perceptiveness of the group members.
  • The degree to which members participated equally in the discussion.
  • The percentage of women in the group was a predictor of the group’s intelligence.

OK, so now everyone jumps up and down and says, yeah, but this is different online when there is more ease of contribution and no need for eye contact. Yeah. Right.

“Interestingly, the findings hold up in electronic collaboration among a group as well as they do in verbal collaboration. In some tests, the groups came together online and could only communicate by text chat. “It turned out that the average social perceptiveness of group members was equally applied, even when they can’t see each other’s eyes at all,” Malone says. He believes this means that a high score in the ‘reading the mind in the eyes’ test must be correlated with broader range of social skills and social intelligence.”

Online facilitators, TAKE NOTE!
via Groups are smarter with women, MIT research shows | Profit Minded – Yahoo Small Business Advisor.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.
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