Is it time to let the ladies take over?

Is it time to let the ladies take over?

September 29th, 2011 // 4:50 pm @

Traditional stereotypes portray women as the more emotional gender, and therefore less able to deal with business decision making under stress.

Research undertaken by Dr. Coates, a Neuroscientist at Cambridge University suggests the exact opposite may be true.

The doctor’s work looked at traders on various market trading floors and their reaction to success and failure, and how that reaction affected their decision-making capabilities moving forward.

Men have ten times the levels of testosterone that women do, and when they “Win” the level of testosterone in their blood stream surges. This is a very primeval response that was great when we were hunting many thousands of years ago, but now not so useful. This higher level of testosterone causes men to be euphoric and underestimate risk.

Conversely when under stress and anxiety caused by uncertainty or negative events men are more prone than women to producing Cortisol from their Adrenal Cortex. This again is a primeval reaction useful in hunting, as it heightens awareness, and makes us more aware of risk, and more averse to taking risk.

The long-term exposure to stress, and lack of sleep raises the underlying level of Cortisol in men; therefore compounding the problem.

So when men are on a winning streak, they will tend to be overconfident, and when under negative stress will tend to be over cautious!

Our ancient ancestors have ingrained men with some very useful chemical reactions to success and anxiety if we are out hunting a wooly elephant.

Unfortunately, in our modern commercial world these chemical reactions result in logical decision making for men being more difficult than for women.

Time to let the ladies take over gentlemen.

Category : Blog &Leadership &Other Thoughts

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