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In developing economies, where self-employment is more common than wage employment, research suggests that women’s business profits are less than half of men’s profits in many contexts.

Women also have been found to have lower returns to capital compared to men. In India, micro-enterprises in the informal sector are the most common type of female-owned businesses, making up approximately 3 million businesses. However, further research is needed on the causes of the gender profit gap in business performance.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020, North America won’t see gender equality for 151 years. The report also states that gender parity can have a large impact on whether an economy or society will thrive.

That’s right — a country’s gender gap could affect its power and influence on the rest of the world.

As a society, we’re leaving a lot of money on the table by allowing the gender gap to continue. In fact, McKinsey & Company’s Global Institute report found that narrowing the gender gap could add between $12 and $28 trillion to the global GDP.

  • How does Gender Differences Affect the Business?
  • Why is Gender Important in Business?
  • How does Gender Equality Improve Business?
  • How Gender Plays a Role in the Workplace?
  • What is the Impact of Gender on Productivity?
  • How does Gender Affect Productivity in an Organization?
  • Does Gender Play a Role in Entrepreneurship?
  • Does Gender Play a Role in Management?
  • How does Gender Affect Business Communication?
  • What are Gender Equality Strategies?
  • Why is Gender Important in Marketing?
  • How can a Business Overcome Gender Barriers?
  • How does Gender Affect Organizational Behavior?
  • What are the 5 Main Factors that Affect Productivity?

How does Gender Differences Affect the Business?

Gender differences in the workplace typically stem from social factors, which influence the behaviors of men and women. Some organizations welcome gender diversity and encourage the inclusion of both sexes when making company decisions and offering promotional opportunities.

Read Also: How Copyright Affects Various Business Enterprises

Other organizations discourage gender inclusion and promote bias in the workplace. With most companies, gender differences add value and varying perspectives to an organization.

Gender differences involve both physical and emotional factors. They are essentially the characteristics that influence male and female behavior in the workplace. These influences may stem from psychological factors, such as upbringing, or physical factors, such as an employee’s capability to perform job duties.

Differences may also stem from gender stereotypes related to men and women. For instance, a stereotypical assessment is that women belong in the home while men work and provide support. Stereotypes often lead to sex discrimination in the workplace.

Why is Gender Important in Business?

Gender diversity is vital to any workplace. Not just because it’s a laudable goal; it simply makes bottom-line business sense. If you need proof, look no further than a recent Gallup study, which finds that hiring a demographically diverse workforce can improve a company’s financial performance.

The study of more than 800 business units from two companies representing two different industries — retail and hospitality — finds that gender-diverse business units have better financial outcomes than those dominated by one gender:

  • Gender-diverse business units in the retail company have 14% higher average comparable revenue than less-diverse business units (5.24% vs. 4.58%).
  • Gender-diverse business units in the hospitality company show 19% higher average quarterly net profit ($16,296 vs. $13,702) than less-diverse business units.

And if the gender-diverse business units are also highly engaged, financial performance improves dramatically. Retail units that are diverse and engaged have a 46% higher increase in comparable revenue. Similarly, diverse and engaged units in the hospitality company have a 58% higher net profit than single-gender and less-engaged units.

These results show the additive effect of gender diversity and engagement on a company’s bottom line.

The advantages of gender-diverse teams

Our research suggests that gender-diverse teams perform better than single-gender teams for several reasons:

  • Men and women have different viewpoints, ideas, and market insights, which enables better problem-solving, ultimately leading to superior performance at the business unit level.
  • A gender-diverse workforce provides easier access to resources, such as various sources of credit, multiple sources of information, and wider industry knowledge.
  • A gender-diverse workforce allows the company to serve an increasingly diverse customer base.
  • Gender diversity helps companies attract and retain talented women. This is especially relevant as more women join the labor force around the world. Companies cannot afford to ignore 50% of the potential workforce and expect to be competitive in the global economy.

For these reasons and others, it makes sense for businesses to make gender diversity a priority.

How does Gender Equality Improve Business?

Empowering women and increasing gender diversity within a company leads to better business outcomes.

It improves the bottom line

The research and evidence is clear: Empowering women, as employees and consumers, and increasing gender diversity within a company leads to better business and economic outcomes through increased profitability, productivity, and company effectiveness. The World Bank has stated that productivity per worker could rise by up to 40% by eliminating all forms of discrimination against female workers and managers.

Reaching gender equality would add $12 trillion to the global economy as the workforce begins to reach its full potential. This directly impacts private sector success by (1) the emergence of a bigger marketplace to sell goods and services; and (2) lifting millions out of poverty, especially women and girls.

It is central to corporate responsibility

As companies seek to execute on purpose beyond profit, and as employees and consumers look to companies for the same, gender equality is central to improving the world while conducting business.

It attracts and retains talent

Even before COVID-19 changed how we work, flexible working arrangements and support for employees with family and caring responsibilities were attractive propositions for employees of any gender. Not only do flexible and supportive workplaces attract talent and increase productivity, they help retain people as well.

The private sector, often before the government acts, plays a critical role in removing systemic barriers to employment and advancement:

  • Ensuring equal opportunity for jobs;
  • Providing support for career advancement, including parental leave, caretaking assistance, and flexible working schedules;
  • Ensuring leadership inside companies is gender-diverse;
  • Removing policies, language, processes, and individuals that discriminate, maintain unconscious bias, and allow for gender-based violence.
  • Doing everything possible to help women, especially women of color, reach their full potential.

Businesses can make change with speed and scale that the private sector and civil society cannot. That enables the private sector to accelerate the pace of change toward gender equality.

Everyday decisions make a difference in the drive for gender equality. Decisions made by factory managers, human resources, sourcing, and community engagement can all have a positive or negative impact on gender equality.

How Gender Plays a Role in the Workplace?

Differences in Gender Perception

Men and women experience differences in perception in the workplace. According to the book, “Managing in the Age of Change: Essential Skills to Manage Today’s Workforce,” by Sophie Hahn and Anne Litwin, an employee’s gender can illustrate differences in perception related to organizational structure, problem-solving style and view of the work-related conflict. Also, differences in individual working style is notable.

According to the book, women perceive that individual work styles should be collaborative, where everyone works as part of a whole. Men, on the other hand, perceive that work should be completed independently without the assistance of others. Women also tend to be more supportive managers, whereas men are more direct.

Legal Issues Involving Gender

Many legal issues stem from men and women being treated differently or unfairly in the workplace. Several employment and labor laws govern sex discrimination and prohibit workplace practices that treat a particular sex unfavorably because of gender. For example, the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination, such as hiring, firing or refusing to promote an employee because of sex or gender.

Employers must also provide special accommodations for gender-related issues, such as pregnancy and nursing. Other laws such as the Equal Pay Act ensures men and women receive equal pay for performing the same job in the same company.

More than Simply Male and Female

Society is, bit by bit, coming to terms with transgenderism, the realization that not everyone fits neatly into a box labeled “biological male” or “biological female”. A transgender individual may have the attributes of one sex but identify with the other, or may avoid such gender assignments all together. Awareness of transgender individuals may call for workplaces to adopt specific policies regarding such topics as restroom usage or respect for individuals in transition.

Solutions to Gender Issues

Misunderstandings between genders often cause conflict within the workplace. Men and women perceive information differently, which could lead to feelings of exclusion or allegations of harassment or sex discrimination.

Managers can combat this problem through training and development initiatives that focus on increased awareness of gender-related issues. Managers can also encourage change in employee behavior to strengthen the working relationship between men and women, and lead by example.

What is the Impact of Gender on Productivity?

A study reveals a sizable gender gap in labor productivity, with women-run businesses being about 11 percent less productive than men-run businesses. In other words, an extra worker in a women-run business generates about 11 percent less profit than an extra worker in a male-run business.

Unlike other studies, this gender gap does not decrease when controlling for a range of firm characteristics, including the broad sector in which the business operates. This suggests that gender gaps in labor productivity are not driven primarily by differences in other observable enterprise characteristics.

Contributors to the labor productivity gap due to gender differences in firm traits

1. Adverse business environment hurts women-run businesses

Clearly, the business environment matters. Women-run businesses are more likely to face losses due to crime, less likely to pay for security, and less likely to own a power generator. While the study cannot establish causality, these results suggest that female entrepreneurs’ lower spending and ability to protect against crime is associated with a 6 percent widening of the gender gap in labor productivity.

In addition, the lower adoption of power generators is associated with a 13 percent increase in the labor productivity gap. This is the largest contributor in terms of ‘traits’ that widen the labor productivity gap between women-led and men-led businesses. The inability of women-run business to guard themselves against crime and power outages probably reflects well-documented hurdles faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing finance for productive investments.

2. The digital economy is key for women-run businesses

Women lag behind men in digital economies. Businesses led by women are less likely to own a website than those run by men, and this is associated with an 8 percent widening of the gender gap in labor productivity. This is consistent with the evidence of a digital divide between women and men in most developing countries.

These findings suggest that narrowing the gender digital gap could be an important pathway to supporting female entrepreneurs. This policy assumes even greater urgency with the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more businesses are going online to compensate for the lengthy closures of their brick-and-mortar stores.

3. Lack of access to foreign investment and firm age disadvantage women-run businesses

Foreign ownership is an important channel through which technology and human resource transfer can improve firm performance. However, foreign investment is not reaching women-run businesses, and this is associated with a 12 percent increase in the labor productivity gap.

Unfortunately, this may lead to a vicious cycle where barriers faced by women-run businesses render them less productive, and thus less likely to receive foreign investment, which in turn decreases opportunities for such businesses even further. In addition, women-run businesses are on average two years younger than those run by men and this is associated with an 8 percent widening of the labor productivity gap.

4. The size and sector of women-run businesses confer an advantage

We find that women-run firms are smaller – in terms of the number of employees than male-managed firms. They are also overrepresented in the service sectors, where they generate above-average returns, while male-managed businesses have a higher presence in manufacturing.

These two factors narrow gender differences in labor productivity, thus challenging the notion that female-managed firms are less productive because of the small size of their operations and because they are disproportionately represented in service sectors. The policy implication of this is twofold.

First, improvements in the business environment in the retail sector would infer direct benefits to female-managed businesses. Second, specific interventions might be taken to improve the lagging labor productivity of female-managed firms in the manufacturing sector.

However, in times of COVID-19, women businesses’ concentration in the retail sector, which is typically client-facing and therefore susceptible to shutdowns, could also bring unique vulnerabilities.

5. Further investigation needed to understand cultural norms or institutional factors

There is still much to learn about the labor productivity gap between businesses run by women and men. The analysis shows a large residual gender gap in productivity that could not be explained by gender differences in observable traits or characteristics of the businesses, or by returns to these characteristics. Most likely, country-level institutional factors or cultural norms are part of this story and these require further investigation.

Other studies point to the importance of norms around the intrahousehold allocation of productive resources, which may leave women’s businesses undercapitalized and underperforming, and the gender gap in time allocated to unpaid domestic work, especially child and elderly care, which limits the amount of time women entrepreneurs can devote to their businesses. 

How does Gender Affect Productivity in an Organization?

As we continue to fight the good fight for fairness and equality, it might serve as an extra push for companies to know that gender equality is also an important factor in business productivity and the bottom line.

Equality Saves $$$

Employee turnover is a particularly expensive bummer, so it’s in a company’s best interests to promote retention however possible. When a company is viewed as gender-equal, employees are more likely to remain with the organization. A company offering gender equality can reduce employee turnover and decrease the high expense of recruitment, time spent conducting interviews, training, etc.

Equality = Output

There’s been a lot of research that suggests a link between gender equality and better overall organizational performance.  One factor is that diversity brings together varied perspectives, produces a more well-rounded analysis of the issues at hand, and spurs greater effort—all leading to improved decision-making.

Equality Improves Productivity and Competitiveness

The World Economic Forum has found a strong correlation between a country’s competitiveness and how it educates and uses its female talent.

It states: “…empowering women means more efficient use of a nation’s human talent endowment and…reducing gender inequality enhances productivity and economic growth. Over time, therefore, a nation’s competitiveness depends, among other things, on whether and how it educates and utilizes its female talent.”

Inequality Wastes Resources

As long as gender inequality exists, the years of investment in higher education of young women are being wasted.  By balancing the scales of equality, men and women will have an equal chance to contribute both in the workplace and at home, thereby enhancing their individual well-being and, in turn, that of society.

Does Gender Play a Role in Entrepreneurship?

In a survey polling, more than 500 entrepreneurs from the U.S., online graphic design marketplace 99designs uncovered surprising gender-based findings, including raising capital, work-life balance, education and more.

The company discovered that the surveyed male entrepreneurs were twice as likely to have raised more than $100,000 in funding. In fact, 64 percent of surveyed female entrepreneurs said they raised less than $10,000 for their venture, compared to only 14 percent of men.

Even when it comes to age, men seem to start their entrepreneurial journeys before women. Forty percent of male respondents said they started a business before they turned 35, while only 33 percent of women said they did.

Perhaps that’s because women are still busy playing the role of caretaker in most families. Women spend more time with their families on a daily basis, according to the survey. In fact, 56 percent of men spend at least half their days working on their startup or venture, while 43 percent of women said this.

Does Gender Play a Role in Management?

One of the often-asked questions is whether gender makes a difference in terms of leadership. There is a vast array of research looking at areas to do with gender and leadership, a proportion of which is in contention, with contradictory findings being reported. So, what is the current state of research about the relationship between gender and leadership?

A new (2020) review of the current research by researchers from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Canada and the Department of Management at the University of Central Florida looked at whether gender makes a difference in terms of leadership.

As can be expected, the relationship between gender and leadership is a complex one and requires the consideration of a wide range of factors.

Firstly, the review found that there are four primary leadership outcomes that need to be considered when looking at the impact of any factor, including gender, on leadership.

The four primary leadership measures

The four primary leadership outcomes/measures that have a wide agreement in the research arena are:

1. Leader emergence, which refers to the extent to which an individual tends to be seen as being “leader -like”.

2. Leader effectiveness. Measuring and understanding overall leadership effectiveness includes a range of measures:

  • a. Performance
  • b. Perceptions and ratings of leaders’ performance
  • c. Counting leadership behaviors that have been considered to be effective
  • d. Measures of organizational productivity and group/team performance

3. Group performance/organizational productivity is measured by a range of factors including goal achievement, financial performance, et cetera.

4. Group longevity and survival, which refers to how long the leader’s team or organization remains viable, relevant and competitive.

The review found that across all research there are a series of leader behaviors that predict the achievement of leadership outcomes:

  • Task-oriented behaviors
  • Relationship oriented behaviors
  • Change orientation
  • Learning orientation
  • Passive behaviors
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Job focus behaviors, including:
    • general job proficiency
    • personal discipline
    • proactivity and the demonstration of effort
    • communication capabilities
    • facilitating others and, in particular, team performance and peers
    • management skills
    • administration capability

The review found that there were a series of knowledge, skills and attitudes which have been shown to both underpin and directly predict the emergence of leaders’ behaviors:

  • Knowledge
    • knowledge of role
    • knowledge of organization
    • knowledge of people
    • self-awareness and knowledge of self
  • Skills
    • problem-solving skills
    • divergent thinking skills
    • skills with metacognition, or the ability to think and recognize how they are thinking
    • interpersonal skills
    • negotiation skills
    • conflict management skills
  • Motivation/purpose/drives
    • desire to lead
    • the need for power
    • achievement drive or orientation

The review found that there was agreement across the research in terms of the indirect predictors of leadership behaviors and, therefore, leadership outcomes which have a defining impact on the direct predictors as well:

  • Intelligence
  • cognitive ability
  • cognitive flexibility
  • emotional intelligence/emotion regulation capabilities
  • Experience – the range of experience that a leader has, including experience of leadership, of a particular situation and within a particular sector or organization
  • Gender
  • Personality, particularly in terms of
  • extraversion
  • agreeableness
  • conscientiousness
  • emotional stability
  • openness
  • self-monitoring
  • resilience

How does Gender Affect Business Communication?

Whether it is with words, tone of voice, emotional expression, or body language, the way in which males and females communicate have been explored in a variety of ways to distinguish the characteristics that makes us so different (Disch, 2009). It may seem obvious that males and females tend to use different communication styles.

It is commonly generalized that females communicate in a more indirect, elaborate, and emotional, sense that can reflect uncertainty, tentativeness, and a lack of authority. While males are perceived to have a communication style that is direct, succinct, and instrumental.

Although it may seem that the female communication style might be the weaker form, it can also be said that females are more able to establish a rapport that encourages response because of their ability to empathize and connect. While male conversational style usually centers around their own independence, female communication style reflect their need for connectedness (von Hippel, Wiryakusuma, Bowden, & Shochet, 2011).

One major difference between male and female communication style is in the amount of emotion that is used in their conversations. Gendered cultural norms such as emotional expression and communication styles are both learned in childhood through interactions with family members and friends.

Specifically, conversations that children have with their peers help them learn appropriate emotional responses which develop their socio-cognitive understanding. For example, females use more affiliative language whereas males use more assertive language in conversations with both parents and peers (Tenenbaum, Ford, & Alkhedairy, 2011).

Gender differences in communication styles have also been found in the value of comforting versus ego support. Ego support refers to the way people make others feel good about themselves and the things they have accomplished in life, while comforting support refers to the way in which a person can help to alleviate another person’s emotional distress.

Women tend to place a greater value on these skills emphasizing the importance of communication that expresses feelings and emotions. Men, on the other hand, place a higher importance on active forms of communication such as persuasion and narrative techniques (Mortenson, 2002).

One area in which the disparity in communication styles can lead to inequality simply based on our biology is in schools and the workplace. In most professional settings, leadership and confidence are highly valued traits for top-level positions. Based on gender alone, males may be viewed as assertive and self-reliant while females can be seen as less competent compared to males for leadership roles.

This is one reason that females can often be automatically viewed as less desirable candidates when applying for certain positions. Gender-based misconceptions that reinforce stereotypes about women being less competent than men can cause women’s capabilities in leadership to be undervalued (von Hippel, Wiryakusuma, Bowden, & Shochet, 2011).

Many gender stereotypes tend to lead to a way of thinking that show men and women maintain different traits and attributes and that the traits that males have are more highly valued than the traits that females possess. In general, the traits associated with males are perceived as more important for educational and professional success.

Research that focus on sex-role stereotypes like these can influence perceptions based on gender alone, whereas a certain behavior from a male could be perceived in a positive light but when the same behavior is performed by a female it can be viewed as negative (Steckler, & Rosenthal, 1985).

For instance, in school, a boy who asks too many questions may be perceived as someone striving to gain more knowledge about what is being taught while a girl who asks too many questions might be perceived as someone who does not understand what is being taught.

To help change this way of thinking, gender research that explores what makes men and women alike, rather than different is gaining popularity. Many people do not believe that large differences between how the sexes communicate actually exist and that continuing the research that explores these differences can be dangerous by working to promote self-fulfilling prophecies (Disch, 2009).

The differences in the words we use, the tone of voice, and the way we express our emotions can all cause some form of misunderstanding with communication. The way in which men and women communicate, whether through verbal or nonverbal means, can present differences in how the speaker and the addressee are perceived (Steckler, & Rosenthal, 1985). Knowing what these differences are can help lessen misunderstandings and build a greater path of communication between the sexes.

What are Gender Equality Strategies?

A gender equality strategy outlines the vision for combatting gender inequality in an organization and holds the organization accountable by setting measurable objectives for progress. 

A gender equality strategy:

  • outlines a gender equality vision for an organization
  • links to a business or organizational strategy
  • identifies practical goals
  • includes measurable objectives linked to goals
  • promotes active and inclusive leadership
  • is easy to communicate
  • holds an organization accountable for its gender equality progress
  • follows a transparent governance process
  • goes beyond gender equality to consider other elements of inclusion, diversity and intersectionality (social stratification linked to class, race, sexual and gender diversity, age, religion, disability etc.)
  • is integrated with all functions and levels of an organization.

A strategy provides a foundation for a plan of action to achieve a range of objectives. It provides a blueprint for accountability against measurable objectives – outlining who will execute tasks and by when. A strategy helps to create specific project plans for discrete initiatives, and it can provide detail about how to prioritize actions.

Without a strategy, it is very difficult to gauge whether day-to-day activities and decisions are helping the organization effectively progress toward the desired end-goal. A gender equality strategy enables organizations to move beyond an ad-hoc (programmatic) approach to gender equality and ensures investment in gender initiatives is targeted.

Having a shared understanding of the strategy increases commitment to the initiatives and enables all parts of the organization to work together toward the achievement of the objectives.

Why is Gender Important in Marketing?

Digital marketers are growing savvy and implementing new marketing strategies targeting their audience. However, in some instances, they need to follow the traditional path as well, and gender-based marketing strategies are some of those tried-and-tested methods. 

Digital marketing focuses on creating a curated message and voice to develop a brand out of business. Once that is done, the targeted audience receives the brand message at scale. However, studies show that these targeted audiences are highly granular, and their demographics determine whether your brand message aligns with them or not.

The target audience also resides on multiple social media platforms according to their convenience and preferences.

For example, suppose you are using gender-based marketing tactics to lure the target audience from Facebook. In that case, you need to spend on Facebook ads that specifically talk about their interests, activities, or preferred places of hanging out.

Gender-based marketing has established that male and female consumers should be handled differently. Due to gender differences, there are differences in psychological patterns which give rise to variable consumer habits. 

An incredible book authored by Gloria Moss, known as Gender, Design, and Marketing, delves deep into the idea of gender-based marketing strategies and provides illustrative gendered marketing examples. While their motives for shopping might differ significantly, their analysis of a product or a service is also executed through a very different kind of lens.

Gender-based marketing has immense implications even in the digital marketing era. Gender marketing strategies are important for marketers to clearly distinguish their target audience’s gender. Although the concept of gender fluidity has overcome a lot of such archaic mindsets, marketers generally segregate their target audiences based on a couple of genders.

Both genders are essential for marketers because their needs, marketing behaviors, and psychologies vary extensively. To gain a holistic marketing approach, marketers may sometimes give away their gendered marketing tactics and adopt a more neutral approach to lure both genders into purchasing their products and services.

How can a Business Overcome Gender Barriers?

Gender barriers in the workplace stem from many sources, including societal norms and cultural values. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate conflict, we can avoid patterns of behavior that cause problems. Learn to recognize these common sources of miscommunication to improve how you interact and collaborate with others.


It’s important to remember that stereotypes are just that — oversimplified ideas of how a particular type of person or thing ought to be. Not all men, women, or otherwise will communicate in the same way as the rest of their gender.

While several traits tend to be more common in one gender than another, it’s beneficial to allow people to define their individual communication styles. Don’t expect your peers to conform to any one style common to their gender. This understanding is key to creating a work environment that fosters open communication and acceptance amongst all employees.

Cultural background

Cultural values about gender differ around the world. As a result, our backgrounds play a prominent role in our expectations of other workers. In a highly diverse workplace, there’s often a multitude of cultures represented among the workforce. Friction can occur because we have different ideas about socially acceptable behavior between genders. Being overly casual in conversation, for example, is acceptable in some cultures and not in others.

Respecting the comfort levels of our peers is a crucial part of getting along. As you learn more about others, you can get a feel for their boundaries. But until then, avoid making assumptions about someone else’s beliefs or lifestyle. Try to stick to topics of discussion that are relevant to the job.


Five generations now co-exist in the workforce, all of whom have grown up with different societal norms. When people of various age groups work together, generational differences may affect how they communicate with people of other genders.

In this situation, people can feel alienated when roles or models of leadership in the workplace don’t fit their expectations. Although it’s challenging to balance these viewpoints, it’s equally important to make sure everyone feels respected and heard.

If you suspect gender barriers are affecting your workplace communication, here are some helpful hints:

1. Educate your team about gender and gender bias.

People often struggle to identify their own biases and areas of ignorance. But when people become aware of them, it creates the possibility for positive change. When given information that shows how they’ve treated another person unfairly, most people will want to do what they can to correct their behavior.

2. Encourage diversity.

Suppose you’re sitting in a conference room discussing how a new policy or process will affect your entire company. If only men are present, you could be missing out on ramifications that unfairly affect other genders. Include people of different genders, races, and backgrounds so that you can make decisions in light of how they affect everyone at your company, and not just one group or gender.

3. Ask others how they want to be addressed.

Encourage individuals to let everyone know how they want others to refer to them. Many communication breakdowns arise when someone repeatedly addresses another person in ways that make them uncomfortable. Make sure everyone is aware that they shouldn’t use labels or pet names that other people consider inappropriate.

4. Equip your HR team.

If an issue does arise, make sure you have an HR representative who is informed and equipped to deal with these kinds of matters in a respectful, tactful, and fair manner.

5. Create gender-neutral policies.

Whenever possible, avoid creating policies that single out a specific gender. Define the cultural values you want your team to uphold, and develop codes of conduct you can apply equally across the gender spectrum. For example, outline the correct ways to communicate a problem and who an employee should speak to when they have concerns.

How does Gender Affect Organizational Behavior?

Every individual is different. Nevertheless, gender often plays an important role in determining how individuals behave in an organization. Males and females typically have different traits. Knowledge of these traits helps individuals, particularly those of opposite genders, work together effectively in an organization. When genders learn to interact with one another, mixing traits of males and females creates a stronger organization.

Traits of Men

In general, men work on the basis of conveying and gaining information. Focus is directed to the task at hand and the information necessary to complete it, instead of developing relationships and communicating their feelings about the task. As leaders, men make decisions based on strategy and procedure rather than considering their feelings or intuition.

According to a study presented at the 2009 Forum on Public Policy, men are more likely than women to engage in unethical behavior in the workplace. The competitive nature of men in the workplace and the desire to work out solutions based on numbers and benefits support this idea.

Traits of Women

According to the book “Leadership and the Sexes,” women are more likely to multitask than men and, therefore, more likely to roam off-topic during a meeting. During negotiations and meetings, women tend to read facial expressions and feelings better than men. While most men are likely to spend a meeting taking notes and not making eye contact, women frequently make eye contact with the speaker and nod their understanding.

They also prefer to discuss problems in detail before finding a solution and typically speak more during the day than men. As leaders, women are often more intuitive than their male counterparts, focusing less on strategy and procedure than on their intuitions when it comes to making decisions.

Combining Male and Female Traits

Combining the traits of males and females in a workplace makes for a successful organization. Often a male may want to make a decision that looks good on paper, but a woman’s sense of intuition may sense larger problems to come as a result of that decision.

When it comes to solving problems, the male’s desire to solve the problem can help curb a woman’s desire to get off-task while discussing the situation. In negotiations, a male/female team has an advantage. Males may focus on the logistics of the negotiation while women work on keeping the relationship between both parties positive to ensure the deal doesn’t fall through.

Accommodating Differences

When working together, men and women should focus on tuning into the other gender’s traits while being aware of their own gender tendencies. For example, a woman leading a meeting knows that some men lose focus easily, so she tries to make her point in a concise manner to avoid going off on tangents.

A man understands that many women need to discuss problems as a way of coming to a solution, and therefore listens patiently to the woman instead of simply making the decision for her.

What are the 5 Main Factors that Affect Productivity?

Whatever a company’s size, one of the constant challenges it faces is to achieve optimum productivity from its workforce. There are several particularly important factors that play a role in productivity. We’ve selected the following five:

1. Energy and personal attitudes

The combination of energy and a person’s attitude will play a significant role in determining their productivity in any context, whether work-related or not. This is why it is essential to successfully manage both, as the second in particular may be affected by external variables such as the attitude of the other workers, the physical work setting, the level of responsibility, the pressure received, and the number of processes in place. All these elements and more can change a potentially positive attitude to a negative one.

2. Equipment and resources

Having insufficient resources to carry out a task is without a doubt one of the most likely preconditions for undermining productivity. The correct technical equipment, along with the necessary training and mentoring, are essential for achieving the expected productivity levels in a role. And of course, it should also be noted that any scarcity of this factor will affect not only the previous factor but also the following one.

3. Objectives

The planning and setting of objectives, sufficiently endowed with resources and done in a participative way, will boost labor productivity provided they are consistent. Here it is well worth pointing out how important it is for these objectives to be SMART: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound.   

4. Leadership

Evidently, the team leader will be involved in setting and monitoring objectives, and his or her personality and style will influence productivity. A leader that can be trusted and who is honest and balanced in their supervision can be the perfect driver for increasing productivity in any department.

5. Environment

Finally, the physical features of the workplace are equally important for maintaining the expected labor productivity. Everything from the furnishings through to the proximity of the workmates and the necessary equipment, and including sufficient natural light or the decoration of the workspace, will all influence productivity, as has been abundantly demonstrated.

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These factors are directly linked to the study conducted by psychologist Fredrick Herzberg in the mid 20th century to better explain workers’ behavior in the workplace. The results he obtained gave rise to what was known as the “two-factor theory”, as it highlighted two groups of elements that determine people’s behavior: motivational factors, which help achieve satisfaction at an individual level, and hygiene factors, which refer to elements that are lacking or cause dissatisfaction.

Satisfaction or motivational factors include, for example, recognition, responsibility, or promotion; whereas dissatisfaction factors are closely linked to economic, social, or safety aspects (salary, working conditions, and company policy, among others).

Herzberg came to the conclusion that a two-phase process was necessary to increase satisfaction. The elements that generate dissatisfaction had to be removed before going on to create the conditions that provoke satisfaction.

The key to this lies in not confusing hygiene factors with motivational factors. Some employers think they can motivate their workers with hygiene factors, although they are not at all effective beyond the short term. To create satisfaction it is necessary to focus on factors that “enrich” the work, according to each person. Options include providing opportunities to achieve new milestones, recognizing certain contributions, or giving more responsibility.

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