Issued November 17th, 2013 Sydney
New brain research points to women
holding the key for even better leadership
In their quest to support Australian businesses competing more effectively globally, the Brooklyn Institute is looking at how corporations can leverage better the unique leadership talents of women. Brooklyn Institute Chairman Ken Patteson says “When we saw the data showing how companies with more female leaders are significantly more profitable, we started to look at why that is”. Their enquiry led them to bring in women’s advocate and CEO of the Women Gathering Project, Gina Lazenby, from London to lead a workshop on feminine leadership. Ken adds “We found her arguments for how organisations can benefit from better developing the natural leadership qualities of women when they understand just how differently women are wired to be very compelling. The research she showed us is quite an eye-opener. This is especially concerning now that we have just received the news that Australia has dropped 9 places and out of the top 20 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report.”
The largest brain study ever, looking at 46,000 brain scans, was recently conducted by American psychiatrist Dr Daniel Amen. The findings surprised everyone as it showed female brains are radically more active in 85% of their brain. The new insights gleaned from the study led Dr Amen to conclude that women’s brains are actually wired for leadership. Activity in the front part of the brain, the pre-frontal cortex, makes women’s brains much more powerful. Dr Amen says this gives females five unique strengths with a dramatically enhanced capacity built into their brains for empathy, appropriate worry, intuition, self control and collaboration. Many would argue that these attributes are what today’s business world needs more of, especially collaboration. In moving away from a dominant business practice of competitiveness to a new culture of collaboration, women are well placed to lead and support men in developing these practices.
Gina’s specially created program starts with a one day event for women professionals in Sydney on November 27. Gina says the focus is slightly different to a drive for women’s empowerment because it looks at how women’s brains are wired differently, how they can leverage their feminine values and their unique capacities for leadership.
What Gina Lazenby’s program with the Brooklyn Institute aims to do is to show women what they can do themselves to make them more ready for leadership. Specifically, her work looks at practical ways that women can bring their feminine qualities and values to the leadership roles they take. As Christine Lagarde, the first MD of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) observes “Women should not try to imitate men”. Mrs Lagarde points out that where women are in the top jobs there is more balance, more inclusiveness, more peace and more priority given to education and health. Significant research now shows that organisations with more women at the top in much greater quantity bring higher financial returns. The IMF says that profits can be up to 70% higher.
Gina says that the feminine approach to business is not going to look the same as when men are in the majority. Like the rest of the world, the current business environment in which everybody works was originally made by men for men, with stay-at-home wives, and not that much has changed to the basic structure in the last 200 years. The way business is done today is changing dramatically and at such high speed that it is hard for the old systems & structures to keep up. No roadmap currently exists for the future.
As more women entered the workplace in the last few decades the discussions about gender equality have been focused on sameness, how women can do a job as good as a man. Now it’s time to shift that conversation and focus on how women are equal but different. Understanding the unique talents and strengths of women and leveraging that difference is what is going to make the greatest impact on creating a more resilient economy and sustainable world.
Gina’s feminine leadership workshop is designed to empower women professionals with insights to what they can leverage within themselves, how they can work with and support men, and practically, how organisations can benefit more from women’s contribution when they can bring their authentic feminine approach to working with their teams. This improves profits, lifts productivity and creates happy work cultures.
More from Gina Lazenby 0435 958 852 or Ken Patteson, Brooklyn Institute on 0417 777 838
or Dr David Paul, Brooklyn Institute on 0411 113 311
Watch Gina Lazenby’s 2-minute video talking about the workshop and the breakthrough role of women in the USA Senate in October
Click on the 27 November Feminine Leadership Workshop Leaflet online.