Before getting down to the nitty-gritty, I would like to point out that this article is an opinion piece. It is an opinion that is inspired and oriented by the Social Prospective work that we have been carrying out in recent years at Punto de Fuga *; on the changes that are taking place in women and men. We believe that these changes will have a great relevance in the social transformation that we are called to in the coming years.
Digital transformation is already embedded in our lives at all levels and will undoubtedly continue to be the key vector of social transformation in the coming years. Our hypothesis is that, alongside digital transformation, the feminine and sensitivity to sustainability will be the other two major vectors of change.
The term "feminism" is fraught with controversy in the social dialogue. To a large extent it has become a word that only serves ideological confrontation and is too overloaded with nuances. When we bring the word feminism into a conversation, everyone understands it in their own way and it prevents us from identifying the degree of social convergence that actually exists on the gender issue. When we place the conversation on "gender equality", we find a large majority convergence in society as a whole.
We can say that the aspiration for gender equality is activated through an underlying Social Movement in very different registers of our daily life: working life, social life, family and couple life, educational life, etc. 85% of women have a very or fairly favourable attitude towards gender equality (with different levels of involvement and activism) and 68% of men also recognise themselves as undergoing personal and social transformation to favour gender equality (also with different levels of involvement). The leadership of this movement is clearly female, which is a great contribution to the mental transformation of society as a whole.
In the field of values, we find the promotion and rise of values such as: empathy, assertiveness, dialogue, understanding, efficiency, care, respect, integration, sensitivity, responsibility; all of them, quite nuanced from a feminine perspective or drive. We find values such as courage, resistance, strength and security, which are fully valid and greatly enriched by the inclusion of the feminine component, which traditionally has not tended to be recognised. The prevalence of classic masculine values such as competitiveness, aggressiveness or power is also reduced.
The desired gender equality is very clearly qualified. There is a strong demand for: equal rights, equal opportunities and equal responsibilities (home, family, work, etc.), embracing and valuing diversity and difference. Therefore, we can conclude that the gender perspective that is desired (by both women and men) advocates the integration of women and men, based on equal rights, without machismo and valuing both women and men in their diversity and uniqueness.
Insisting on this clear qualification of gender equality, in the business and institutional field, we find a strong demand for inclusive leadership. This inclusive leadership requires an attitude and a mode of operation that can be summarised in four key points:
- 1) Valuing diversity. Identify, assume and truly believe that diversity is valuable. That diversity enriches human teams and organisations. In the gender perspective, this mentality is definitive. The integration of feminine and masculine perspectives in any project or team is a clear enrichment.
- 2) Avoiding the tendency to homogenise. The logic of homogenisation goes through EVERYTHING and EXCEPTION and this necessarily leads to generating EXCLUSION. Overcoming this old tendency towards homogenisation is a qualitative leap of great business and institutional relevance. In the gender perspective, this issue becomes fundamental. It is not a question of women having to "conform" to male models or references of functioning, nor is it a question of men having to mutate to feminine perspectives or functioning. It is precisely about getting out of the formula of uniformity and giving the opportunity for the development of diversity.
3) Integrating diversity is to actively include the unique values that each 'version' of the 'di-verse' brings. Inclusive leadership has to constantly and naturally conjugate the verb to integrate. In the gender perspective, this verb: to integrate, is essential in any business or institutional project or team. It is the integration of gender perspectives that allows for an enrichment that each member of the team notices on a personal level and that motivates an important increase in the value of the output of the projects and of the professional teams.
- 4) Therefore, the logic of inclusive leadership is the logic of NOT-EVERYTHING: I don't know everything, I don't have everything, I can't do everything, I am not completely right, etc. I am integrating "NOT-EVERYTHING" parts that complement and enrich each other. If I am in the NOT-EVERYTHING, I am open to inclusion. In the gender perspective, we are clearly in this logic of the NOT-EVERYTHING and it is from this openness that we achieve real success in collaborative work. We leave the old framework of competitiveness and we are fully situated in Co-Collaboration.
From my point of view, the logic of the NOT-EVERYTHING is at the heart of the DNA of the transformation brought about by the gender perspective. We are already seeing it and we will see it circulating more intensely through the veins of organisations and society in general in the coming years.
Punto de Fuga
* Habla con ellas: Claves para el dialogo Marca Mujer
Men in change: Claves de conexión con la Nueva Masculinidad