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It Takes Two

Last month was Women's History Month. Like many people I owe so much to the women who helped shape and mold my character, from my mother Jennie L. Binion, to several others in my ministry and community to raised me and shared valuable wisdom and truth.

It is unfortunate that women have not be credited with the contributions that build our world and societies. Women have been overlooked, underpaid, and underappreciated. I am a sports enthusiast and recently looked at the huge discrepancy in salary between male and female athletes, not to mention that the woman's game is more exciting in all the major sports competitions. There is a growing need to place women in positions of responsibility in every area of the marketplace, but the balance in leadership will always require both men and women.

Many women work for businesses and institutions that are managed and staffed primarily by women. This means there is an absence of the male perspective and the strength men bring to business. There are differences between men and women and these differences are necessary to provide clarity of thought and understanding required for healthy relationships. If this balance is absent, many important decisions will not receive the thought and attention required before those decisions are made. Men and women have different values, insights, and opinions which help offset decisions of impulse. Men and women are often impulsive in decision-making; however, when given an opportunity to listen to individual viewpoints, a comedy of errors can be avoided.

I am not going to highlight perceived differences between men and women. There is enough public opinion for that and you can scour the Internet for zillions of articles on philosophical, phycological, and emotional composition of the sexes. However, the culture and climate of organizations is different when men and women do not compliment each other in the workplace. Women in authority respond differently to problems than men in similar roles. Women lead people differently than men in similar roles. Women in management spend money differently than men in similar roles. These differences make it important for men and women to have open discussions about business decisions. The imbalance makes it hard to arrive at certain outcomes without fair and equitable input from both sides of the table.

An organization with no men in positions of strategic leadership is out of balance, as is an organization with no women in positions of strategic leadership. Therefore, decision makers and those with hiring authority must make it a priority to search for male and female talent to bring their companies into a balanced leadership alignment. The views associated with the male and female gender bring strength to religion, business, government, education, and family. According to the World Bank Enterprise Survey there is a sizable gap in labor productivity, with women-run businesses being about 11 percent less productive than men-run businesses. In other words, an extra worker in a women-run business generates about 11 percent less profit than an extra worker in a male-run business.

Men and women need each other and cannot thrive successfully in the world without the care and support each other brings to life. The Bible clearly instructs that neither man, nor woman can live independently of each other. In order for our world to remain in balance, it has and will always, take two.

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