Feminine Traits the Key to Success, According to Global Study

Ford Motor Company studies trends because it takes years for a new car to get to the assembly line. Sheryl Connelly, manager of Global Trends and Futuring, identified an important trend as the Female Frontier. Key factors are the increasing number of women university graduates (a majority in the US and China) and women workers in the new knowledge economy, many of whom delay marriage and parenting to establish their careers. (Half of US adults are single, although most Chinese adults are married.) The report cites the Athena Doctrine survey of 64,000 people in 13 countries.

Globally, 66% of women and men surveyed agreed that the world would be a better place if men thought more like women and 81% said everyone needs both masculine and feminine traits to succeed today. Millennials were especially supportive. Of the 13 countries cited, only one didn’t have a large percent who agreed with the statement (only 45% agreed in Indonesia). John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio also conducted interviews in 26 nations for their book The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Life Them) Will Rule the Future (2013). The researchers asked their global sample to classify 125 human traits and found that values considered feminine are considered the key to effective leadership, success and happiness. The traits include nurturing, listening, flexibility, patience, cooperation, collaborating and sharing. In contrast, traits considered masculine were rejected: control, aggression, and black-and-white thinking. These traits are socialized rather than innate. They think a global referendum on men, with Millennials especially dissatisfied with patriarchy. The shift in values is driven by technology, the financial crisis and globalization of the new knowledge and service economy.


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