[EDEQUITY Male Dialogue] Work teams in business school

From: Meg Manderson (MManderson@edc.org)
Date: Fri Dec 15 2000 - 16:10:06 EST

As lurker, I intended to listen and learn but Barbara's comments on the
inversion of the accepted stereotype (and like all stereotypes, this one is
of limited utility!) of male competition and female cooperation has lured
me out. I was for many years on the admissions committee of a top ranked
business school. It was very striking how difficult it was for the
relatively few women (about 30% of each class) to function in assigned
teams. They did not understand the "rules" of work teams where there were
no bonds of friendship and "clan" and tended to fall into competitive
stances seemingly based on the mating competition which informs so much of
non-related female interaction. The men utilized a different model - sports
teams or armed service experience, which predicated an enlightened
self-interest motive for cooperating even when they felt no particular
connection to or even necessarily liking for, their team mates. If seems to
me that all of these models are "true" and all can benefit when various
elements are combined.

All of which argues, in my opinion for the gender equity model being of
benefit to both genders. And argues against single sex models of learning
in most cases where there is no opportunity for cross-fertilization.

Just some amateur observations!

Meg Manderson

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