Feminine gamification viewpoint: token inclusion
With a drive by a lot of organisations to be seen to be gender equal or at least open to both genders taking part at all levels, we see the token women appearing on the board of directors. Often in a HR capacity, less frequently as CEO or CFO. For the organisations that really promote ladies based on competence and have them move up in the ranks just like their equals, I applaud the fact that this is a conscious approach. However on so many boards I have the cynical question in mind, what did they have to do to find the token women and is she invited to all meetings?
On conference schedules you often see a similar display of needing to be women friendly and one or two token women are found. Conference organisers however often tell me that it is hard to find women who are willing to put their foot forward and step up to give talks and presentations, which always makes me wonder why in my immediate circle of business connections I can count 100+ women who wouldn’t mind putting themselves forward to speak.
The opposite also happens where because only one woman is selected that she is not invited to all the events, because she would be the only woman there. Having been one of the few ladies in networking groups and at conference I personally don’t find that an issue. If you already share the networking space or conference space, then in any case there will be mutual topics to speak about. What I often found more confusing is to be parked in the non-working ladies department at networking events, because of my gender and that inevitably became an award conversation because we had less conversational topics in common.
It will take time to be truly equal and it will take quite a number of ladies to step up in order to balance out the numbers. Saying that I still would advocate merit over gender and sometimes the best man for the job is a woman. Quota have forced some of the agenda with mixed results. In a game it is a case of who ever has the best cards and skills typically who wins and I guess the more ladies play to more we will see ladies represented at the top of company boards and at conferences.