Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Women who work

It's called synchronicity.  My choice to read women authors is followed by a link from a former student (who took my strategy class) to research into what makes teams smarter. According to research from Carnegie Mellon University and the MIT Sloan School of Management, women are an important part of successful teams:  
It's a preliminary finding--and not a conventional one.  The standard argument is that diversity is good and you should have both men and women in a group.  But so far, the data show, the more women, the better.  
And why might that be the case?
Many studies have shown that women tend to score higher on tests of social sensitivity than men do. So what is really important is to have people who are high in social sensitivity, whether they are men or women.
Given the amount of teamwork we require of our students (that same strategy class) and the quest to understand why some students perform better than others, I shared the link with my colleagues.  By return email, I received this from a male colleague (might this be a good place to insert that all my colleagues who teach this particular course are male?):
I have found (from my practical experience) that this is true.  The managers in my research group at Walmart were 70% female and the hardest (working)/ most productive members. Before that, in civil engineering, I found the female design engineers and project managers to be the brightest, most productive team engineers.
As a woman, I find this both affirming and frustrating.  

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