Let me be clear from the start – I believe in equality. Our personalities and brain power affect what we can all do and achieve completely irrespective of gender. However, many believe that men and women can offer different attributes, different approaches, and different solutions, without one being better than the other, and my team’s experience in the industry over 25 years does in some ways bears this out.
We are not alone. Nasdaq, the US electronic exchange where investors buy and sell stock, reports on its website: ‘By nature, women tend to focus on the future and what’s down the road; whether that’s in relationships or money. Some research has even shown that females behave in a way that better suits long term investing.’1 Nasdaq says that women in general are good at looking to the future, which is a great asset when making operational decision for the business side of the practice.
Please note that they are not saying that men do not look to the future; rather that the approaches may be different!
But recognising our own strengths seems like something both men and women can capitalise on.
Leading on from that concept, according to motivational speaker and author Glenn Llopis, writing for Forbes, women in business possess four innate skills that he chauvinistically proposes that men occasionally demonstrate in perhaps less abundance:
- Women are experts at looking at the bigger picture without their self-worth colouring the outlook
- Women are good at networking and then following up with people, allowing them to develop rapport easily and learn from others for continuous evolution
- Women are wired to be good at building relationships and are willing to put in the work needed to maintain lasting bonds with both colleagues and patients
- Women like to give back, which means they can be good at inspiring a team and getting them to unite behind a long-term strategy.
Glenn Llopis has not written a similar article on men’s strengths — but undoubtedly many readers of this will be getting their pens out!
In summary, whilst there is no difference between the sexes in general, there are traits which manifest themselves more strongly in either one or other. As you can imagine, when you overlay the context of these attributes on to the running of a dental practice, it offers a rarely considered glimpse into what is achievable according to a gender bias skillset. If we do not acknowledge differences, we run the risk of a major blind spot and missing out on a major opportunity to learn.