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Does this sound like your organization?
Coworkers see each other not as colleagues
but as cutthroat competitors.
Bravado, extreme work hours, and unreasonable risks
are rewarded.
And expressing emotion, especially doubt,
is a sign of weakness.
If those sound familiar, your workplace
could have what researchers call a masculinity contest culture.
And these contests can be a sign of serious
organizational dysfunction.
Not only do they leave women out in force
them to play in a rigged system of ridiculous rules,
they also short circuit teamwork, decrease innovation,
and hurt the bottom line with employee turnover or harassment
lawsuits.
Researchers found four masculine norms
that correlate strongly with organizational dysfunction.
One-- show no weakness.
Swagger and overconfidence suppress vulnerability,
uncertainty, and tenderness.
Two-- strengthen stamina.
Even in white-collar jobs, physical strength
and athleticism are prized and endurance is proven
by working late into the night.
Three-- put work first.
Commitment to the organization comes before all else,
leaving no room for family, breaks, or balance.
And four-- dog-eat-dog, a culture
where more masculine winners defeat losers
in a zero-sum game and trust is scarce.
Masculinity in these workplaces is under constant threat.
It must be repeatedly defended, leading
to even more toxic behavior.
So how do you change these cultures?
By putting mission over masculinity.
The key here is leveraging the right goals and values.
A healthier culture will follow.
For example, focus on innovation.
A leader could point out that innovation only
thrives when people feel psychologically safe to take
risks and share new ideas.
And this is only possible in a culture
without counterproductive masculine norms.
Next, when people regularly work late
or laugh at offensive jokes, leaders
need to dispel the misconception that everyone
endorses such behaviors and publicly reject these norms.
And most importantly, leaders must walk the talk.
Reward people for supporting each other,
call out misconduct, allow others to voice dissent,
and model respectful behaviors.
Only when mission comes first can real
change take place, sending masculinity contests culture
into the past, where it belongs.
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The Explainer: 4 Signs That Masculinity Contests Are Holding Back Your Company

34 Folder Collection
jbsatvtac1 published on August 15, 2019
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