Move over boys — women in technology are taking a seat at the table.
With a deliberate focus on education around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to attract more female employees into the workforce, men are now having to learn how to adapt their form of communication and style of working.
For many years, men worked nearly exclusively with fellow male technologists. The level of adaptation was not by gender, but cultural. Certain difficult technology skill sets are limited in the U.S. therefore many companies have had to recruit abroad to fill their internal gaps within their own Information technology departments at home.
Previously, men have been challenged to understand language and cultural differences, but as more women enter the workforce, men will have the additional task of understanding how to adapt to gender differences. Women are known for their robust communication style, their openness, organization skills, inclusiveness, coaching and adaptability.
Men are known for their autocratic demeanor, direct leadership, competitive nature, ability to set and follow structure.
How to interact
How will both genders interact under one corporate umbrella, essentially working with the same skill sets? It is well known that diversity occasionally fosters conflict. It falls on the corporation to limit the conflict as much as possible by creating a gender neutral environment and eliminate stereotypes.
Here are five suggestions and observations of men and women in the corporate world. By having a more clear understanding of gender behavioral traits, awareness and adaptability will follow.
1) Men typically focus on competing while women tend to focus on relating.
2) Men thrive in environments that have rules and structure while women flourish in environments that provide fluidity and creativity.
3) Men like to jump in and get things done; women tend to ask many questions to better understand the project.
4) Men typically gravitate toward conversation around sports, business and food while women tend concentrate on relationships and people.
5) Men tend to be concerned with internal ranking, status while women care more about adaptability.
The exciting news is that women are rapidly entering the technology innovation workforce. Studies have proven that corporate boards and teams thrive when filled with diverse backgrounds.
Both men and women will need to adjust to one another, but success for all is right around the corner.
Nicole McMackin is president of Irvine Technology Corp., a firm that specializes in information technology solutions and staffing. She joined the company more than 10 years ago, initially serving as vice president of sales. McMackin has an established career in sales and management with a strong emphasis of account ownership within Fortune 300 organizations. She began her career in staff augmentation services with a locally based Orange County, Calif., company, where she was quickly recognized as one of the top performers throughout the nation.