Title: Is Woman the Future of Man? An Exploration of the Potential of Women in the Knowledge Economy and of the Problem of Gender Inequality in the Workplace
Author: Shelley Reciniello
Abstract: The knowledge economy of the twenty-first century has need of the particular talents women possess to fulfil its promise. Although women make up half of the workers in the developed world, they remain in the minority in executive positions that could have the influence and contribution of the female perspective. The gender inequality that persists in organisations continues to create working environments where women are not able to make a differential contribution. The author has focused on research and consulting projects with financial institutions which provide an example of polarised gender dynamics resistant to change. The difficulties of the present-day economy and recent financial collapse point to a one-sidedness in our culture that harms both men and women. Drawing from contemporary and modern psychoanalytic theories, the importance of culture on the psychology of gender is emphasised. The author presents that certain aspects of each gender are idealised and others are split off and projected according to cultural prescriptions/proscriptions creating a stasis of forced separation. The result is that men dominate organisations and women struggle for ways to participate. And when they focus on fitting in, women lose their voices and unique perspectives. The author argues for the importance of helping women to make more of a contribution to work and the world we live in. Without the equal contribution of women, half of all knowledge is lost.