There have been a couple of articles recently contrasting the differences between men and women in the financial sector. I am not totally convinced that there is a real scientific basis that underlies these differences in behavior, but I found the topic nonetheless interesting. Please do read the two articles by clicking on the highlighted virtual links. You will learn a lot and maybe even get a chuckle out of them.
The premise is that women are not as impulsive as are men in the area of investing. Whether this is due to some physiological reason is still up in the air. Is the more cautious nature of women in finance due to estrogen levels? Is the male tendency to be aggressive in finance a carry-over from their levels of testosterone? Or is this apparent gender difference in approaches to the risk/reward ratio a function of nurture, rather than nature? Is the male tendency to take greater risks a throwback to his hunter/gatherer history? Is the female’s nod to caution and consensus due to her history of being the nurturer, the nest builder?
There is no definitive answer yet, but I suspect it is a combination of evolutionary development, actual biological differences and environmental factors. However, biology should not be used as an excuse for stupid or dangerous behavior. With that in mind, William D. Cohan writes about the current ladies in the upper echelons of economic policymaking, noting that moral, reasonable and responsible actions are necessary in whatever career is chosen.
With these gender differences now open for discussion, I am thrilled that women’s health issues are getting some deserved attention. I have my own little story to tell you regarding this, and then, the commercial sponsored by Kaiser Permanente is a wonderful advancement for female well-being.
But my story first. I am sure all of you have heard and seen the massive advertising campaign for The Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure Three Day walk. The visuals are accompanied by a very catchy musical number. For months now, every time I heard that song I thought the words to the song were “She’s a big worrier”. Well, Jeezy Wheezy, the woman has breast cancer: of course she’s worried about it. I followed up that thought with another, absolutely unfair, unjustified, discriminatory and totally wrong. That thought was, “A man must have written the words to that song”, implicating insensitivity of all males to this women’s issue. Not until three days ago, did I realize the correct wording of this song was “She’s a pink warrior”. Holy mackerel: was I ever off-base. Here’s the song:
And now, hat’s off to Kaiser Permanente for a very effective and meaningful ad promoting good health for women:
Then, I found this take-off on that commercial, paying homage to some of our most beloved, talented and aged actresses:
It is all quite fascinating. Instead of using gender differences to engender inflammatory controversy, our world would do well to acknowledge these differences and use them, all of the diversified traits, when appropriate for the best possible outcomes.
Just for the sake of good humor, here’s a story about the most aggressive animal of the species, the New York woman:
Three friends married women from different parts of the United States. The first man married a woman from South Dakota. He told her that she was to do the dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple of days, but on the third day, he came home to see a clean house and the dishes washed and put away.
The second man married a woman from Nebraska. He gave his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes and cooking. The first day he didn’t see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By the third day he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done and there was a huge dinner on the table.
The third man married a girl from New York. He ordered her to keep the house clean, the dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn’t see anything. The second day he didn’t see anything, but by the third day, some of the swelling has gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye, and his arm was healed enough so he could fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher. He still has some difficulty when he pees.