Experts Say Women are Bringing Strength to Crisis Management
Male Engagement Identified as Key Component in Promoting Equality
Feminine qualities are required to cope successfully with today’s risk-filled business environment, a global management forum on gender equality concluded on Wednesday.
‘Asia-Pacific W Crisis Management Forum’ opened at the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul on Wednesday. The forum drew business experts and CEOs from different parts of the world into conversation about the feminine traits that are not only prevalent in business, but also highly valued in uncertain business environment.
“The qualities ascribed to women are so beneficial to business leadership and crisis management specifically,” said Hyosun Kim, president of the Women’s News. “Business management in the new era demands new ways of translation and methodologies for crisis. Female entrepreneurs have showed excellent outcomes, even in a male-dominant business world. They deserve special attention for that.”
“The top-down male traits once expected from leaders are no longer those suited for the 21st century’s business structure. Success in business requires leaders who are collaborative, empathetic and have strong communication skills. I believe female leaders offer such an alternative leadership,” said Yoonchul Lee, chief director of the Institute for Industrial Policy Studies.
“There should be more room for women in higher positions. The more you engage women at the top, the better the organizational performances,” said Sugahara Tomomi, representative of Emerald Club(Japanese female CEOs’ Network).
According to 2009 Catalyst report, Fortune 500 companies with three or more women in senior management roles ranked higher in organizational excellence than their competitor companies. As far as performance goes, those same companies outpaced the competition by 40% or more.
The speakers also said that men have a significant role in making better workplace by advancing equality. “Does creating more opportunities for women mean having less chance for men? The answer is no,” said Cynthia Emrich, leader of Catalyst Research Center for Career Pathways. “What is good for the women is also good for the men.”
“We need to get more men engaged in promoting gender equality,” she added. “Most men are as much victim of gender norms as women. We should do less of celebrating macho man, and do more of celebrating men who paved the ways for women and other marginalized groups.”
About 400 people including several diplomats, government officials and female leaders attended the forum co-hosted by the Women’s News, the Institute for Industrial Policy Studies and the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.
“Women all over the world are facing sheer challenges fighting against cultural barriers to equality,” said Marc Knapper, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. “This is such a meaningful event where Korean, Japanese and the U.S. female leaders gathered to share experiences and address this issue better.”
Following the main event in Seoul, the local forums will be held on 24 September in Cheongju, and on 25 September in Jeju. Only attendees registered for the conference itself can attend the events. Check on the forum’s official website(www.wcmforum.org) for registration and more details.