Boards: Embrace the concept of gender intelligence

By Sheila Ronning, CEO & Founder of Women in the Boardroom

The idea that men and women think differently is nothing new. But the concept of corporate boardrooms using these differences as a way to improve business is relatively uncommon. However, more and more boards across North America are seeing value in the concept of gender intelligence. This notion embraces differences in the attitudes and behaviors of men and women, works to understand and accept these variations, and uses it to improve board director relationships. With gender intelligence, the different ways men and women interact, solve problems, make decisions and communicate are realized and appreciated, instead of tolerated. By recognizing these variations, numerous benefits emerge. There is more inclusivity within the boardroom, which leads to increased confidence for women to speak up at the table.


Engagement between directors of different genders is more effective because there is a better understanding of how each communicates. Individual talents are tapped and the boardroom is more productive and successful. The focus of gender intelligence and its benefits among a greater number of boards is an encouraging step toward more diversity at the table. Although the notion of men and women thinking differently is as old as time, it is about time that the balance has changed. Boardrooms are finally realizing that men and women may be different, but are equally valuable.


This article was featured in the Directors & Boards Fourth Quarter 2013 Report.


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Taryn Burks
Adam Friedman Associates