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Exercising our loyalty by speaking up

Nice work if we can get it... how affirmative action lifts overall performance

I first came across Adam Galinsky's work when his excellent TED talk "How to speak up for yourself" came out. 

Now he's published an article and video "Are Gender Differences Just Power Differences in Disguise?" As usual, he looks at the issue from several different angles and explains the experiments he used to test his theory as a social psychologist. 

Most importantly, he points out that power and status have a tremendous impact on performance. Feeling less "able" makes us behave less competently, even if we have more ability than we realize. 

He encourages business leaders to improve the overall performance of their companies (and society) by dispersing power across gender and minorities despite the performance gap

...the Women’s Emancipation Index, calculated by the United Nations, can be used to predict the size of the gender performance gap in a country.

More recently, I’ve found this exact same measure can predict not just the performance of female World Cup teams, but also the performance of male teams. Countries that had greater gender quality had higher performing male teams. Why? Because they had better talent. Why? Because more equal treatment of women is associated with more equal treatment of many different types of people.

The conclusion is clear. Many gender differences will be significantly reduced, if not eliminated when — and only when — women have more power. So, we all have an obligation to help this process along, to help women gain opportunities in business, and in politics, and all realms of society. When we do so, it’s not just helping those women, it’s not just giving people role models, it’s literally changing fundamental aspects of the mind, and producing better outcomes for everyone in society.

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