Equality Isn’t About Gender

Posted on November 15, 2019


This past week I had the opportunity to go on the road to participate in panel discussions in both Charleston, South Carolina, and Long Beach, California. Don’t get me started on being back home in this snow forsaken wasteland. Okay, it is not a wasteland, but going from palm trees to parkas?

Getting back on track here, during my travels, I met some pretty remarkable people such as Sarah Scudder (Real Sourcing Network), Kim Castellucci (Daiichi-Sankyo), and Sandra Daubert (Scoutbee).

As they spoke, their expertise, passion, and professionalism were undeniable, and it got me thinking; I did not see them as women – I saw them as professionals. Think about that for a moment.

Some corporate leaders boast that they have more women in top management positions than other companies in their industry. While this is a good thing, I think that the real message should be that they have the top executives in their industry. They didn’t hire these people because they are women; they hired these people because they were the best candidates who happen to be women.  

Stop Talking Gender

Have you ever heard an executive brag that they have more men in senior positions than any other company? They are more likely to talk about an executive’s background – their experience and accomplishments.

Regarding organization performance, Peter Drucker said that “companies with at least one female director were 20% less likely to file bankruptcy,” than those with none. He then went on to say that those with “higher representations of females on their boards,” overall had better financial performance.” – Digital Transformation In Procurement (2018)

When we talk about equality, it isn’t a question about gender (or race and religion). It is about hiring the best and brightest. In other words, focus on experience, expertise, and performance, NOT gender, and pay accordingly. It isn’t a difficult concept to comprehend, nor should it be to execute.

When we stop talking about gender and start talking about qualifications and performance, then and only then will the playing field be “truly” level.

That’s my two cents, what’s yours?

Posted in: Commentary