Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 17

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

Gender Differences in
Business Roles

Prepared For

Madam Saira Azad

Prepared By

Zain Hameed

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 1

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

Date January 10,

Letter of Transmittal

GIFT University
January, 09, 2008

Miss Saira Azad

GIFT University
Gujranwala, Pakistan

Dear Madam,
The report is focused on identifying gender differences and then applying
these differences in business scenario.
I am very thankful to you that you gave me the opportunity to work on such topic,
which really made me aware of a lot of hidden facts about Gender differences in business
roles. You helped me a lot in defining this topic. I am very grateful to you that you think
me capable of this. Really, I have given my full in this report. I hope it will be above your
Yours affectionately,

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 2

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

Zain Hameed

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 3

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

Table of Contents

Topics Detail Page Number

Executive Summary 1

Introduction 2

Background 3

Discussion 7

Leadership style 7

Business Communication styles 8

Entrepreneurship 9

Salaries 9

Employment conditions 10

Conclusion 11

References 13

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 4

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

Executive Summary
The report is about identifying physical, historical, psychological, and
perceptional differences among men and women, and then applying it in business
context. While doing it, it was found that women are far more different from men in
above described criteria. Women and men have different roles to play in their personal
and social lives. Men are, usually, considered as financial earners and women as
“caretakers” of domestic matters. These personal and social roles also affect professional
life, and this is the reason why men and women also differ in business life.

This is followed by some background information that tells how and why men
and women differ from each other. The difference is not new; it evolved with the
evolution of these two genders. From the very start of life, man was more aggressive as
compared to woman, and this aggressiveness caused man to work and woman to settle.
From here, social roles were segregated, and differences evolved. Women are more
formal as compared to men. Women tend to save more, while men are naturally careless
about saving. Women are less wise as compared to men in terms of spending money.
Also, women are more formal about their dressing as compared to men even for little

Due to historical reasons, that created difference in men and women personalities,
women created a sense of inferiority in them. This sense of inferiority speaks in most of
their professional and social roles.

Then men and women are differentiated in business settings, which was the main
focus of this report. Different dimensions like leadership, entrepreneurship, Business
communication styles, Salaries, and employment conditions are considered while making
this differentiation. Women leaders are usually less successful as compared to male ones,
because characteristics of a successful leader match more with masculine characteristics.
Women are more likely to start feminine businesses such as boutique, beauty-parlor etc.
Women are less confident, more possessive, and good listeners, while practicing
communication in business, as compared to men. In general, men are getting higher
compensations than women, but it is not true if we go in detail. In some occupation

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 5

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

women are equal, in some slightly behind, and in some are even ahead of men regarding
salaries. Also women require special working conditions as compared to those required
by men.

Hence, men and women are elementary part of life, and cannot exist without each
other. They depend on each other in their personal, social and professional lives, so they
have to understand the differences among each other, and should try to diminish these
differences. It should not be a one-sided effort; rather both of them should contribute
positively in removing the above described differences or even try to eliminate the
negative impact of these differences.

This report is concerned with defining and comparing men and women roles
regarding business. It is a known fact that men and women really differ in a variety of
aspects. Both of them have different physiques, metal approach, behavior, physical
appearance, etc. as compared to each other. Having such great differences, still they have
to interact with each other in their personal, social, and professional life, and they are
successfully handling this interaction. If we see two dogs or any pair of animals sitting
beside each other, then we will observe that they will not remain in peace if they feel any
differences. This is not the case, usually, with human beings. They are more social, and
have ability to understand and manage differences. Same is the case with men and
women issues. Despite of a lot of different characteristics, men and women are still called
as “two wheels of life”. It means that both of them are vital elements of world’s life.

Now it is also admitted fact that two different people behave differently in a given
set of circumstances, because human behavior is formed by his attitude, and attitude is a
function of characteristics. It means if two people differ in characteristics, their
tendencies will also be different. Now, as discussed above, men and women are also far
different from each other, and also behave differently when observed in a given scenario.
For e.g. response of a bunk call by a woman will likely to be different with that of a man.
Business is also a vital part of modern life, and we must know gender characteristics
regarding business in order to successfully conduct it. We should know that how to deal
with a company’s Purchase manager, how to impress boss, how to attract a company’s

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 6

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

marketing manager to get advertisements, etc. Our behavior towards each of above
discussed personnel will be different if we consider their gender. It means, in business
scenario, gender characteristics really affect decisions, so it is important to consider
gender characteristics of people while making business plans and decisions.

Despite of their differences, both genders still have a lot of attraction for each
other. This attraction also affects their professional interactions, and, by including this
variable, men and women relationship becomes more complex. Some times ego is also
attached with their relationship. Men, usually sitting and higher hierarchies of business,
feel jealous of women coming by them of going above them, and this is because of the
ego developed in men’s minds. Since very early times, man feels that he is the king of the
life and women are just to serve him. This thought is gone by time, but it still has its
traces behind, and these are the traces of this thought that develop such ego in men’s
minds, and he, usually, hinders the way of woman’s progress in her professional life.
Now, it is another variable, and things will become more complex by including it in

Men and women have different roles to play in society. In eastern countries,
usually men are responsible for earning livelihood, and women are just to take care of
domestic matters. No doubt, exceptions are there, but still tendency is as discussed above.
In western countries, this trend is diminishing by time, as women are also financially
contributing a lot in running the vehicle of a home, by offering their professional services
to society, that is still absent in majority of eastern countries. Women are also expected to
take care of children, cleanliness of home, cooking of food, shopping of grocery, etc.
Women have these duties in their cart of responsibilities whether they are living in
Nigeria or USA. These different societal roles also affect their roles in business. Women,
throughout the world, face a lot of difficulties in managing business responsibilities along
with their personal ones, so these difficulties change their roles and expectations in
business world as compared to those of men.

As discussed above, men are women are different in a lot of aspects. The focus of
this report is to identify and then apply these differences in business scenario, but we

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 7

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

must know them in detail before doing it, because, if someone wants to know different
roles of different people, he must be in knowledge of these differences first. In this part of
the report, these differences will be described in detail.

I referred to a lot of websites to ascertain these differences, and I found a lot. I got
a lot of psychological stuff, but a funny one attracted me more that had deep
psychological logic in it. It was a community named as Fun Mansion. It has blogs,
topics, discussions etc. It had a topic titled as “Battle of sexes”. One of its members, Kay,
contributed beautifully in it, and I picked that contribution for here. Kay has given
differences under certain headings. I have just chosen a few headings and concept. Kay
has given beautifully worded examples, so I did not paraphrase these examples.


Men and women also differ in calling names. Women tend to be more formal
when they call others by names. Women, even in a group of friends, call each other by
perfect names that show the formality in heir nature. In contrast to this, men usually call
each other by casual names that show causality or informality of their nature. For e.g.

If Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara go out for lunch, they will call each other
Laurie, Linda, Elizabeth and Barbara. If Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom go out, they will
affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Scrappy.

Eating out

It means that men tend to be more careless and generous while contributing in a
bill or spending money, and women are more conscious about spending money. Women
precisely calculate the amount of money to be spent; rather men are careless about it. It is
the part of the nature. Men feel pride or prestige in spending money in the group of
friends, but, usually, this is not the case with women. In short, men are careless about
money and women are not. For e.g.

When the bill arrives, Mark, Chris, Eric and Tom will each throw in a $20, even
though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will
actually admit they want change back. When the women get their bill, out comes the
pocket calculators.

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 8

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university


It differentiates men and women by the way they spend their money. Men will
spend their money when they need a thing. They will be even ready to pay more for it,
but if they do not need it, they will not even purchase it on discount. Women tend to
purchase a thing on discount; even they do not need it. They just purchase it because it is
on discount. It shows that men, usually, tend to spend their money more wisely as
compared to women, but this is not a universal truth, so exceptions are still present. For

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that
she doesn't need, but it's on sale.

Dressing Up

Women dress up for even small occasions. Even they dress up to visit neighbors. But men
rarely dress up. They just dress up to go on marriages, meetings, funerals etc. It shows
that men are less conscious about their dressing and are only formal when required, but
women are over-conscious about their dressing. For e.g.

A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage,
answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail. A man will dress up for weddings and
funerals. (Kay)

Now let’s focus on some psychological factors. First of all, the question comes
into mind that why this difference exists between men and women. The answer was given
in a web article titled as “The bioelectrical difference between man and woman”. This
article, first provides the reasons behind the differences, and then compares two genders.

The difference in status between man and woman all over the world arose from
the fact that man considers himself the giver, the provider, whereas woman considers
herself the recipient. But who said that the receiver must necessarily be inferior? And if
there were no one to receive, what use will there be for the giver? And vice-versa: if there
is no giver, of what use will be the receiver? There is nothing superior and inferior in it.

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 9

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

In fact, these two are complementary to each other and neither is independent of
the other. They are interdependent; they are tied to each other. These are not two separate
entities, but rather two sides of the same coin in which one gives and the other receives.
Normally however, the very concept of the giver raises a picture of superiority within our
minds. There is no reason why the receiver should be inferior. Many things are connected
with this, however, and the status of women has been accepted as second to men. Not
only men but also women have accepted this position. In fact, both are first in their
respective places. There is no second place.

Now this concept has had extensive consequences in many areas and it has
permeated our entire civilization and culture. That is why man went hunting -- because he
was aggressive. And the woman sat at home waiting for him; she accepted him naturally.
He went to the fields, he harvested the crop, he worked in his shop, he flew airplanes, he
went to the moon, and he went out to do all these things because he was aggressive. The
woman sat at home waiting for him. She also did a great many things but was not
aggressive; it was receptive. She set up man’s house, she gathered things together, and
she kept everything in place. In all cultures the principle of stability is due to women.
If the women were not there man would have been a wanderer, a vagabond; he could
never set up a house.

Man is never interested in saving. He earns, and there the matter ends; he is no
longer interested. He is eager and anxious as long as he is fighting with the world,
challenging the world; his attention is always turning to other places for conquest.
Whatever he brings there is someone else looking after it all, saving it all and this
individual has her own place, her own value. She is a complementary part of the whole
situation, but as she does not go out to earn, as she does not accumulate, as she does not
create, it seemed to her that she was lagging behind.

This feeling entered even into very small things, and everywhere she began to feel
a sense of inferiority that is absolutely unfounded. This inferiority brought evil results. As
long as woman was uneducated she tolerated this inferiority, but now she will not. In
order to break this sense of inferiority she has gone about doing exactly what men do.
This will prove very detrimental to her. She can violate her basic personality, and this can

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 10

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

have destructive results deep within her psyche. Now she wants to be on a level with
man, but she cannot be like a man completely. She will only succeed in making herself a
second-rate man; she cannot be a first-rate man. She can, if she chooses, make herself
first rate in her womanhood. (The bioelectrical difference between man and woman)

As men and women differ in a lot of aspects due to the history of their
development, their attitudes, behaviors, roles and expectations are also different when
they enter into business field. The difference is in their personalities and psychologies,
and this difference is responsible for the difference in their leadership style,
entrepreneurship, employment conditions, salaries, performance evaluations, business
proposals, communication styles etc. Some of these differences will be discussed in the
later part of this report.

Leadership style

Leadership is one of the vital dimensions of business life and expertise.

Leadership is all about influencing a group of people so that they create a synergy and
contribute to achieve a common goal. Personality traits are very important while defining
a leader and his leadership style, and men and women, of course, have different
personality traits most of the times. Susan Vinnicombe, Director of the Centre for
Developing Women Business Leaders, addresses this issue as following.

Women do have different leadership styles from men. As Bodyshop, founder

Anita Roddick says: “I run my company according to feminine principles – principles of
caring, making intuitive decisions, not getting hung up on hierarchy, having a sense of
work as being part of your life, not separate from it; putting your labor where your love
is, being responsible to the world in how you use your profits; recognizing the bottom
line should stay at the bottom”.

The problem with actually mapping these differences is that the successful male
managerial stereotype is so strongly embedded in organizational life that female
managers are pressured to conform to it, thereby confusing research results.

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 11

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

Time after time in management development programmes at Cranfield, women

managers demonstrate their different working styles. Using the Myers Briggs Type
Indicator male managers consistently come out predominantly as Traditionalists (a mix of
‘sensing’ and ‘judgmental’). In contrast, female managers emerge as significantly more
‘intuitive’, combined with either ‘thinking’ as visionaries or ‘feeling’ as catalysts. The
natural strength of the visionary is being strategic, while that of the catalyst is fostering
higher productivity by personally motivating people. The problem with letting males
dominate organizations, as we do, is that leadership style is narrowly defined.

Whilst women constitute 41% of the European workforce, they occupy only 10%
of management positions and represent a mere 1% of executive board members. Yet a
recent survey on the most admired boards of Britain’s top 100 companies showed that
they have larger boards, more women, more executive directors, their directors have more
international experience and are better educated. This is a powerful business argument
for greater diversity in leadership. (Vinnicombe Susan)

Business Communication Style

A good business proposal can be rejected if not communicated properly, an

application for enhancement of pay can be perceived as greed if not written properly, and
a casual compliment can be perceived as personal if the method of communication is not
proper, so communication is very important in business scenario. Kathleen Spring
addresses this issue beautifully in her article titled as “Gender differences in Business

No doubt, men and women have different psychologies, and these different
psychologies result in the shape of diverse communication styles. Usually, women are not
considered as good communicators as compared to men, but still exceptions are there.
Men become more successful in business as compared to women just because of these
communication skills. Men are, usually very confident communicators, and their words
show this confidence. In contrast, most of the times, women tend to use words that show
lack of confidence even when they are confident. Also women tend to be more possessive
as compared to men, as they are reluctant to stand in meetings and to offer someone to sit
when they are sitting. Men use good humorous and sports examples to make their point

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 12

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

clear, while women lack this ability, and fail to grab the interest of the audience most of
the times.

Everything is not negative about women’s communication. Researches has shown

that women are very good listeners as compared to men. Men can only focus on one thing
at a time, while women can even notice that someone is interested in their dressing style
when they are attentively listening to someone else. (Spring Kathleen)


Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations, particularly new

businesses generally in response to identified opportunities (Entrepreneurship).
Entrepreneurship is such art that is highly associated with personal characteristics of the
person practicing it. As men and women also differ in personal characteristics, It is wise
to say that their entrepreneurship practices are also different.

Both males and females exhibit a low level of entrepreneurship knowledge.

Females, however, are more aware of their deficiencies in this knowledge area than are
their male counterparts. Both sexes believe that further education can correct the
knowledge problem. Although very interested in starting a business, females still are
significantly less likely than males (62% vs. 72%) to want to start a business of their own.
Both females and males overwhelmingly believe in the importance of giving back to the
community—which goes beyond providing jobs.

The findings of this study also suggest a significant paradox in the “pre-
entrepreneurial” characteristics of female and male youth. Whereas the majority of
students aspire to start their own businesses, they hold certain views that could be
detrimental to entrepreneurial success. For example, more than half of the youth sampled
believe that price changes are objectionable business responses to shifts in the cost of
production or to changes in market demand. This pattern of response, moreover, is
significantly more apparent in females than in males. (Kourilsky and Walstad)


Men and women are, usually, involved, in different types of behaviors and
attitudes at work, so it is not surprising to witness a slight difference in the compensations

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 13

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

they get for these business services. A research has been done by Daniel E. Hecker
regarding this issue. This research is published under the title of “Earnings of college
graduates: Women compared with men”. The research findings are as following.

Among college graduates aged 25 to 64, women’s median annual earnings were
73 percent of men’s in 1993. When median earnings of women are compared with those
of men of a similar age and with similar levels of education, major fields of study, and
occupational characteristics, however, the earnings gap narrowed progressively, although
still spanning a wide range: in some cases, women earned nearly as much as, or even
more than, men with the same characteristics, while in others, women earned much less.
But a question is still there, “How much do women earn compared with men?” The short
answer to this question is that there are many answers to it: in some fields of study and
occupations women do particularly well in relation to men, in others they do not fare so
well, and in still others they are in between. (Hecker Daniel)

Employment Conditions

Men and women have different roles to play in their social and personal lives, so
it is easy to understand that these roles affect their professional lives as well. Due to
different roles and duties in their personal lives, their demands regarding working
conditions also differ. Usually men are more comfortable in long working hours,
unexpected meetings, overwhelming work-pressure, and flexible timing issues as
compared to women. This is because women have to pay a lot of other social and
domestic responsibilities that is not the case with men. A research has been done in
European Union regarding gender differences in working conditions. It is published
under the title of “Gender, jobs and working conditions in the European Union”. The
research addresses the issue as following.

• The fundamental gender difference in working conditions is the fact that women
continue to shoulder the main responsibility for running the home and looking after
children, even when employed full-time.

• There are major gender differences in working time patterns, especially in the volume
of hours worked: women are more likely to be in part-time work

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 14

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

• Part-time jobs are segregated into a narrower range of occupations than full-time jobs
and are typically lower-paid, more monotonous and with fewer opportunities for
advancement. However, there are some more positive dimensions to the working
conditions associated with part-time work: lower rates of exposure to physical,
material and ergonomic hazards, a less intense pace of work, and more compatibility
with social and family life.

• Both men’s and women report that their work schedules tend to be compatible with
their family and social life when they have ‘standard’ work schedules of daytime,
weekday, fixed hours and if they do not work long full-time hours.

• While there are gender differences in some aspects of working conditions there is not
a systematic pattern in all the indicators investigated: many working conditions are
more closely related to occupational position (or sector) than to gender per se.

• When differences in men’s and women’s working conditions and occupational

position are controlled in the analysis, we found that women were more susceptible to
work-related ill-health than men.

• The key working condition that reduces the ‘work-family’ compatibility of jobs for
both women and men is long and unsocial hours. (Gender, jobs and working
conditions in the European Union)

Men and women are, truly, essential elements of human life on this planet called
as “Earth”. Life without each of them cannot be even imagined, but still it is also true that
they are far more different from each other in many aspects. They have to interact with
each other even with these differences, so a lot of problems occur during this interaction,
whether this interaction is taking place in personal, social or professional scenario. For
me, it is one of the fastest growing problems of the world at the time and has to be
addressed properly. This problem also has its roots in business practices, as discussed in
the earlier part of the report. If we go back in history, men were dominantly handling
almost all the business of the world. Women entered into professional practices very late,
so it is quite easy to understand that difficulties arose at that time. These difficulties are

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 15

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

growing, as women are increasingly taking part in business. In order to remove these
difficulties and solve such problems, men and women both have to alter their attitudes
and behaviors in business.

Usually, women are less successful in business as compared to men. This is

because of above discussed characteristics differences in these characteristics in business.
Women leaders are not as successful as male leaders are, as characteristics of successful
leaders match with those of men. I suggest women leaders to forget that they are women,
when they enter into a leadership role. They have to adopt characteristics of a successful
leader regardless of the gender characteristics associated with them. Women also have
less communication skills as compared to men, when they enter into business
communication. Women are less confident, more possessive, less objective, and better
listeners as compared to men. Women try to use confident words in their communication.
They should try to avoid unnecessary details to sound more objective. Women
communications also lack proper citation and exemplification, so they should also work
on it. They should also, at least, try to hide their possessiveness.

In general, women are also getting fewer salaries as compared to men. But if we
go into detail, in some occupations they are even better than men regarding salaries. Also,
women require special working conditions, which usually increases cost for their
employers or at least they are perceived as costly. Women should try to accommodate
with present working conditions as much as possible.

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 16

Gender Differences In Business Roles Gift university

“Entrepreneurship”. Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. 10-01-2008. <

“Gender, jobs and working conditions in the European Union”. European Foundation for
the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. 2002. Page 1-2

Hecker Daniel, “Earnings of college graduates: Women compared with men”. Monthly
Labor Review, March 1998. Page 62

Kay1605(member), “difference between man and woman”. Sep 2006. 08-01-2008.


Kourilsky Marilyn and Walstad William, “Entrepreneurship and female youth:

knowledge, attitudes, gender differences, and educational practices”. 11 June 1998.
Journal of Business Venturing Volume 13, Issue 1, January 1998, Pages 77-88.

Spring Kathleen, “Gender differences in Business communication”. May 23,2001.

PrincetonInfo.com. 08-01-2008. <http://www.princetoninfo.com/200105/10523s01.html>

“The Bioelectrical Difference Between Man And Woman”. Yahoo Geocities. 08-01-

Vinnicombe Susan, “The Debate: Do men and women have different leadership styles?”.
Cranfield School of Management. Management Focus Issue 12 Summer 1999

Business Comm. & RW BY: Zain Hameed 17

Вам также может понравиться