| by Victor Cherubim
( January 21, 2015, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Economist Theodore Schultz in the 1960’s used the term “human capital” to reflect the value of our human capacities. The education, experience and abilities of employees, is human capital.
Men and women have an economic value for employers and for the economy as a whole. Human capital may be defined as “the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes including creativity embodied in the ability to perform labour so as to produce economic value”.
Both women and men strive to achieve a work and family balance, but it is argued that it does not imply more or less equality of gender.
Closing Gender Gaps
The barriers facing women are becoming much clearer, with lives becoming much more individualistic. The constraints that are slowing progress in attaining a more egalitarian society are evident. But women are not wallowing in self pity about the obstacles they face. We know and it is seen everywhere they are climbing these hurdles.
In addition to economic change, we are going through a period of huge social transformation around the globe. The untapped talent of women is part of this change. Women are becoming more confident and assertive. Closing the gender gap could be the key to success of business in the future?
This is because a challenging global landscape demands a new and innovative way forward. How we manage people – using all of the available human resources, particularly women.
It is not because women are the underprivileged. Boris Groysberg of Harvard Business School, in his book “Innovative Women” claims networks are particularly important to women more than men. Women who are often marginalised and left out of internal power structures are slowly but surely laying claim to their right.
The thinking on the part of women, based on the age old beliefs of “coulda, woulda, and shoulda” is disintegrating in a fast changing smart world.
How we manage people –using all of the available human resources and this includes
women from all walks of life. Whether it is technical skills, or interpersonal skills, women are taking a leading role, not only in jobs such as engineering and plumbing, but also in boardrooms.
This is because women solve problems differently from men. There is a dearth of this talent and the world is on the lookout for this speciality.
Inclusive rather than exclusive society
For opportunities to gain competitive advantage in the business and in the world of work, women have to overcome two fears, the fear of failure and the fear of insignificance. The latter according to research is causing a leak in talent in most organisations.
To stem this leak society needs to be inclusive. We have seen it vividly in Sri Lanka during the recent Presidential election. Women not only in the North and the East turned out in numbers to make a decisive change. Women everywhere is Sri Lanka quietly, but persistently canvassed for change. There is no denying that in the new Sri Lanka women are playing not a secondary, but a key role in political change. They are driving for a more inclusive, rather than an exclusive society.
Change is in the air
If you think that this phenomenon is only applicable to Sri Lanka, it is a misgiving. We see change all around the world. Change is not supercilious but surely surreptitiously taking place.
The message is very easily communicated through the social media, through twitter, instagram among others. The future is the internet.
Landmark decision in London
Women have over a long drawn silent protest convinced fellow women but also men to boycott the Page 3 of the nude glamour models in a morning newspaper. Sales have seriously dropped causing a victory for women.
The Sun, a Murdock Empire paper in London after 44 years of publishing photos waist up of women, perhaps, decided that men had seen enough of the nudity have abandoned Page 3 close up from 19 January 2015.
This did not come about by the goodwill of the publisher. It came about by the courage of women and the imagination of men across Britain with an online petition of 215,000 signatories and the boycott by influential groups and Universities.
A victory for humankind
It is a great victory for women not only in UK but around the world and a benchmark for humankind.