Has Angela Merkel proved women are now as powerful as men?

Raising gender to the top of the agenda…. a debate at Cass Business School

Soul singer James Brown is wrong on one thing – it’s no longer a man’s world.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was dubbed the second most powerful figure in the world by Forbes magazine last year, beaten only by Obama. The first female president of South Korea Park Geun-Hye takes office this month. Ex-American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left her job to widespread expectation of her inevitable comeback for presidency in 2016.

Has a new era dawned, one with women firmly making their mark as equals to men?

It’s a topic that has wound up the top of the business world, with Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg weighing in with a new book on women’s role in business.

So, has that glass ceiling been smashed once and for all?

This is exactly the issue Cass Business School is going to tackle on 7th March assembling leading business thinkers for a no holds barred debate on this question.

Visiting Cass lecturer Dr Julie Verity has a hard task in keeping order for this event as the moderator, telling LondonlovesBusiness.com that: “We will expose all the angles when our speakers share all their experience, knowledge and gendered emotions in the debate. My speakers will really give it their all”.

And who are the debaters who are going to persuade you to decide “it’s time to put women in charge”? Neuropsychologist Dr Anne Moir will be arguing for the motion that “the future belongs to female business leaders”, backed up by former Treasury official and now business coach Douglas Board.

Facing them will be top-flight executive trouble-shooter Anne Chatroux and financial expert Oliver Blower. The whole evening will be wrapped up by power networker Indra Adnan.

If you think it would be a simple debate calling for more women in business, you’re dead wrong. Business culture is set to be put under the spotlight too, Dr Verity says.

“There is so much taken for granted in our culture about the way organisations are. Most of the organisations have been designed for men and by men.  Authenticity for a woman is harder to cope with as they have to play by male rules. Some of these women feel they have to put on a mask.

“Organisations will have to change. You can’t just ask women to slot into a male environment without them having to change who they are”.

Women would have a crucial role to play at the heart of boardrooms and business and Dr Verity is clear that culture in businesses will have to get with the times.

“The idea that we’re all the same needs to stop. Women can have and do have a different skillset. We have to cope with us being different. We’re not asking for dominance, we’re asking for balance.”

With Cass Business School’s panel of experts, the debate will drill down as far as necessary. Dr Moir will be able to provide searing insight in her theory of “brainsex”, that the gender difference is all in the brain. In short, gender stereotypes of “alpha men” and “nurturing women” are a load of nonsense as it’s not what you are but how you are wired to think that matters.

With expertise like this on hand, Dr Verity is sure on one thing - the debaters will stop at nothing to get to the heart of the issue.

“We’ll get into the nitty gritty issues, even the ones people don’t want to talk about,” she says.

The evening looks to be a corker for businesswomen as well as men.

To register, please click here

Schedule:

  • 18:15-18.45: Registration
  • 18.45-19.00: Welcome and introduction: Dr Julie Verity
  • 19:00-19:10: For the motion: Anne Moir
  • 19:10-19:20: Opposing the motion: Anne Chatroux
  • 19:20-19:30: Second proposer: Douglas Board
  • 19:30-19:40: Second opposer: Oliver Blower
  • 19:40-19:50: Summary: Indra Adnan
  • 19:50-20:10: Debate opens to the floor
  • 20:10-20:20: Kendal Peterson- Women in Business speaker
  • 20:20-20:30: Voting
  • 20:30-21:00: Networking session

 

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