Paul Sloane in his article The Innovation Gender Gap talks about the gender divide that exists in the space of Innovation. He quotes a book that says women fail in Innovation because:
- Carry criticism around for too long
- Stay inside their comfort zones
- Fail to voice their opinions
- Fail to take risks because of fear of failure
While some it may be true, some of it due to centuries of moulding of women for domestic roles. It would take a couple of generations to move from there to equal mode just as men are struggling to deal with domestic issues. For example the less number of women in certain subjects that are more associated with Innovation, although I strongly believe that Innovation need not be only in science and technology. In fact science and technology should be the tools in the hands of innovators.
While researching for my book The Mouse Charmers, I also came across this divide. I wanted to have fair representation of businesses founded and run by women. I had a hard time looking for them and the ones I found were too busy running business and had no time to talk about the business. I also figures out that lifestyle is a space that women are very comfortable with, and may be it is the presence of other women here that makes them so comfortable there. I found that women like to put their head down and work while men spend equal time in talking about their work to others, in hustling, in networking. They are at ease while taking help from other and while helping others. Women though tend to talk only when they need to – that creates a gap, and they miss the power of network.
ICICI is an organization where women have really taken the leadership positions and I remember Mr Kamath saying that let merit be the only criteria and women will do the rest. There must be a lot of truth in his statement, I hope more large organizations follow his path and more women try their hands on being on their own.