Switchback Creative

Gender Intelligence: Embrace the Differences

February 13, 2017 | Culture

By Suzy Rounce

Kids, fire and berries or hunting the deer

After listening to Christine Hart  speak at Canadian Business Chicks and the panel discussion afterwards it became super clear that gender intelligence is really important to the success of any business (and of course any relationship); it also became clear that this ‘new-age’ concept should be built into your marketing tone and manner as well.

But back the truck up… what the hell is Gender Intelligence? From Gender Intelligence group they explain it as… “What if the solution isn’t eliminating the differences between men and women themselves, but instead learning how to recognize, value, and leverage those differences? Valuing gender differences is the core principle of Gender Intelligence —a paradigm shift in thinking that finally cracks the code on gender equality.”

We can’t change our chemical make up of what was, in Christine’s words, ‘factory installed’ in us from the dawn of time, but you can embrace it and think about interesting ways to leverage, collaborate with each other and in our own minds, growing and evolving in our understanding of the masculine and the feminine.

A concept I had never even considered was the idea that we all have masculine and feminine sides that we live in at different times or situations. The imbalance seems to come when we want to have our cake and eat it too. While I feel like I am a fiercely independent woman on many levels there are A LOT of things that I need, and more importantly, I WANT, help with. I don’t want to do it alone and the fact that Switchback is made up of two equal parts, and could not survive without that partnership is proof. In our marriage, there are definitely times when I want to be looked after, when I want to have someone else take charge and I do not want to be the more assertive presence that I put forward when being the face for Switchback. However, that means I need to learn to turn it off. And by ‘it’ I mean that competitive, ‘anything you can do I can do better’ mentality that is often embedded in the masculine persona. I can be feminine and empowered. Just like Trevor can be masculine and vulnerable.

Christopher Kennedy of the podcast Virgin Beauty Bitch shows how you can live this and start discussing it. Chris and Heather’s mission is to create… AN EVOCATIVE JOURNEY INTO THE REFORMATION AND EMANCIPATION OF FEMININE WITHIN ALL GODDESSES, GODS & GENDERS! Love that! So much power and wide open possibilities there.

From a marketing perspective that is something that we find intriguing for client work. The recent super bowl Audi commercial about equality was shared and viewed over 12 million times but there is something about it that doesn’t sit right with us. Why is it a boy vs. girl thing? A girl beating the boy in the race. Why is it an either or situation? Why can’t the message be demonstrating the team it takes to make technology the best. How we have our strength and the best way to get ahead will be to work side by side and lift each other up. There’s only win/win options in that.

We need to recognize the difference between diffusive awareness and single focus in our marketing and tone. Men were programmed to hunt the deer and it would not have gone over well if everything along the way was distracting during this task. Single focus brought home the meat, literally. Women on the other hand had different focuses: fire, kids, berries and possible danger. This diffusive awareness meant they were good at that job.

Let’s skip over this ‘anything you can do I can do better’ thing, we are already there don’t you think (at least in this neck of the woods)? Let’s skip over finding new ways to diminish the feminine or the masculine. Let’s advance into a new evolution of marketing that is truly about embracing our key assets in the masculine and the feminine. Let’s have a conversation about how we embody both and speak to it that way. Let’s hone in on what we are really good at and come from a place of complete respect for each other.

Do you have examples of how it’s been done already or do we all need to trail blaze this together.

If you want to learn more about this check out the following resources: