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Part of the reason is that the line crosses the circle.

As I have mentioned before, I have a BA in the college of behavioral social sciences. In those 4 years of study I spent alot of time on developmental models of succession. In the last week I have pushed the whole premise of the “Glass Door” of the industry when it comes to female specialists and their position. Today I want to go over a developmental theory that may have an affect on women in this industry that is not clear to the untrained eye. This is one of my theories [untested] yet it follows some of the theories of sociologist.

Erickson’s theory on stages of human development says that our development is linear. However women researchers have pointed out that women’s lives, and probably some men’s lives!, don’t follow those socially-predicated stages. According to women researchers, “women don’t all follow the sequence of go to college, graduate, get a job, get married, raise children, and their associated skills : developing trust, autonomy, intimacy, etc. Many academics who work on developmental theory, tend to think of human development as circular – we go through one stage and accumulate some knowledge and skill, and move on to another stage – and we often circle back through those stages, gaining new insight from the lens of our current level of maturity. So it’s a lifelong revisiting of those stages, and a cumulative building of those skills.

“According to “The Female Advantage”, by Sally Hegelsen (1995). From her research with male and female organizational leaders, it turns out that many of the men whom she interviewed structured their organizations in a hierarchical way, whereas many of the women structured web-like, circular structures. At the same time, the trend towards flattened structures, focusing on innovation and information exchange has meant that many organizations have moved away from the hierarchical model. There is also more stress nowadays on the interrelatedness of all things, which fits with the female model. That trend notwithstanding, the research shows a distinct web-like structure that women managers have developed. In that web, the leader is in the middle, the management team is the next ring, and so on, moving out in concentric circles. The idea reflects the reaching out and sharing information across the circles, rather than reaching down, and hoarding information at the top.”

If we entertain the above research is it possible that the developmental approaches of men and women in this industry could have also a sociological effect? Meaning if men work on a linear plane and women develop circular, then their paths are only crossed at 2 points. The first intersection and the exit intersection. It also surmises that if women work in the web approach, the male linear approach will always cross at the female management sector [in the middle]. Take this model and use the web as a network of females, the center would be the leadership of that network correct? Then she would be the one getting most of the calls when needed. Men work up and down the line of their network. Often times networks cross yet, you are only allowed limited access to an established network. For instance, when I came across Tony Scotti, my network crossed where Tony is on his line. He and only he can determine where I go in his linear network. Regardless of the fact that he introduced me to Joe Autera my network only crosses at Tony.

I say all of this to say the female web is not fully developed in this industry. It is well on its way. In the 90’s when there were female agents who dominated on the east coast, their backgrounds came from institutions built upon the linear hierarchy. The transition for official to private was not a difficult one. I would venture to say that many today are hindered by this organizational make up and have difficulties getting on a linear network. This is the crux of the upcoming Google+ Hangout that I will be hosting. “Using the web to catch the line when they cross.”

If this whole theory based blog confused you remember hypothesis are formed to be tested, theories are to be challenged. I have not even touched the other known factors that hinder the success of women in this industry but will talk about that later. My purpose here was to point developmental theories that have existed over years and foster themselves in every sector in life.

2 comments

  1. Raffaele

    OK Mr. distinguished gentleman from MD/DC,

    Since we now have crossed the line from linear (no pun intended) to circular. To understand that concept and relationship at the very essence, will also open the door to a wide range of other understandings.

    The very lesson that you are speaking of also has a parallel understanding and application within the law enforcement community in relationship to understanding the organization of terrorist cells, as well as interviewing of men of the middle-eastern part of the world.

    So even thou appearing randomized, moving outside of linear thinking, in the proper environments becomes quite efficient.

    It is a matter of breaking down the walls that prohibit us from exploring the differences that the female mind brings to the picture.

    Whether that is in job networking or the execution of the job itself.

    If there is any way to record your meeting, I would love to listen to it upon my return to the states.

    I have always said that this industry was a thinking mans game, I stand corrected. I should have been paying attention to the thinking women. 6 years in the middle east to learn a lesson I should have learned at home.

    Yes there is a study coming into your in box.

    1. Eric Konohia

      Thanks Raff,
      I got that study and I am halfway through reading it. We will discuss upon my completion.

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