I caught up with a new male friend for coffee yesterday morning and he revealed in the course of a casual conversation, that he was “terrified” of women.
Now this is a fellow walking around looking like any other normal guy, while secretly harboring this fear. I really appreciated his openness and it made me think that he is probably not the only one of his gender thinking that way.
In fact, this could have a lot to do with the hesitant approach by most executives to the whole connecting to women concept. What if the reason women feel ignored and misunderstood in consumer electronics stores (with the exception of Apple, which we all love) is due not to disinterest on the part of the male staff and executives, but because these men are scared, or frightened or even terrified of approaching us?
This would surely explain the need for so many men to continually hire male executives to run their marketing campaigns when the target market is overwhelming women. I see this a lot in the hiring process. Capable, experienced women in the CE industry get passed over for the job in favour of a male. Often , this new hire does not even have the same level of category experience or ‘runs on the board’ as the female, but he fits into and looks like he belongs in the monocultural executive lineup.
And, he is easier to approach and understand than the female.
Unfortunately, this means that nothing really changes, the same male oriented campaigns are rolled out, and the same outdated, traditional thinking is further embedded onto the company culture.
In good economic times, the result of this flawed approach may not be so apparent, but when times are tough, you watch the ship start to sink.
Just take a look at the companies who are hitting the headlines for falling stock process, brand loyalty and, of course the critical benchmark, sales revenue. Then look at the executive gender culture within the company.
Did they start hiring bright experienced women a few years ago when global research revealed that women controlled over 80% of the worlds purchasing dollars? Or, when Harvard Business Review reported in 2010 that the global women’s economy was bigger than the economies of India and China combined?
Or did they do nothing?
It’s too easy to blame the economy, the consumer, the government and even the internet for losses when in fact, it’s fear and lack of internal change which is the driver.
Is this what’s happening at your company?