Emotional Intelligence And Equity
Supremacy of IQ has been regarded as the standard for excellence by Millenials. However, various combined research by psychologists, industrial experts and science journalists have paved way to the eminence of Emotional Intelligence, abbreviated as EQ, in the current workplace scenario.
Of all the hurdles faced at the workplace, Gender Equity draws attention to our study. Gender Equity, unlike gender equality, addresses the equivalent provision of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities. Gender equity is the means to get to the final objective of attaining Equality, yet another significant social issue addressed in today’s world.
The study investigates the relationship between the two topics in the workplace scenario and emphasises the integration of EQ in attaining Gender Equity.
The objective of our study is to:
- Understand the difference in Emotional Intelligence due to gender and how this affects the workplace.
- Accomplish gender equity using these differences in Emotional Intelligence.
Significance of the Study
Gender Equity is a salient and recurring term in today’s business leadership discussions and entrepreneurship world. The number of women in the workforce or the complex issue of pay sheds light on the contrasting images of men and women having leadership and C-suite positions. Also, the rising termination of C-suite executive men due to lack of essential personality and relationships management traits attracts attention. Gender Equity is the path that leads to attaining Gender Equality. While Gender Equality defines equal opportunities to both men and women, Gender Equity emphasizes giving all the necessary means to make both men and women equally successful at both the workplace and at personal and social levels.
Gender Equity is beneficial to both men and women. Amidst the common perception that equality at workplace will create a tough time for men, studies show that Gender Equity is beneficiary to all. According to a Forbes Report, the median US household where the woman works outside the home, women contribute to 40% of the total household income. As self explanatory as it seems, added workforce always adds to the conglomeration of various economic factors, thus contributing to healthy overall growth of the country and individuals.
Continued research in the field of emotional intelligence shows an element that affects how these gender issues are played out in the world. Emotional Intelligence is the ability for people to master their own emotions as well as social awareness. The “State of the Heart” Global Report shows that men and women do not necessarily vary on the overall IQ score. They actually vary in the various attributes and emotional competencies. In a report, it is highlighted that IQ only contributes to 20% to overall success in life, whereas the remaining 80% is the virtue of emotional intelligence(Pool,1997). The essence of this report is that men and women are raised in a different way so they inherit values that complement each other but not necessarily match. While men are considered better in stressful situations, assertiveness and achievement, women are considered more empathetic and emotionally skillful. According to their report, there are eight scientifically validated competencies that serve men and women. A common observation can be drawn as the men being physically superior genetically while women being emotionally superior.
Let us take leadership as an example. Theoretically, all these four measures are equally important but men and women both fail to achieve all four, courtesy of preliminary education as well as social burden. Since girls become more fluent in language due to more social interaction, they express emotions in a much better and precise way than male counterparts, who are raised in a way to harness emotions rather than express. Another example is the case of confidence, gender differences in this aspect are quite dramatic. A Cornell University study found men overestimate their abilities and performance while women underestimate. This creates a behemoth difference in the workplace. Output of both significantly decreases as both genders fail to understand their potential, while men neglect scope for improvement, women fail to reach their potential.
The issue therefore lies in drawing lines for much more fruitful social and workplace interactions so that men and women both contribute their maximum and thus achieve the centuries old battle for equality.
Gender Equity, as previously discussed, is ensuring equal opportunities, obligations and rights. This term was first tossed at the Beijing platform for Action by Islamic fundamentalists in 1995. Also Vatican followers joined hands who sought to divide their property to their kids according to their needs not equally, in their gender specific roles.
According to our study, emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in achieving the forediscussed goal.
Early studies define emotional intelligence as the ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotions; access feelings when they facilitate thought, understand emotions and emotional knowledge and hence regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth(Mayor and Salovey, 1997).
In another research, Emotional Intelligence(EI) and gender inter relationship is highlighted. EI encompasses 26 abilities and hence is influenced by many factors, out of which one is gender. This effect, as discussed, may be due to both social and biological factors. Social experiments show, females are known to have greater EI than males (Singh, 2002; Ryff, Singer, Wing & Love, 2001).
Pointing out the significance of EQ in males, Daniel Goleman (1995) pointed out that males who have high EQ are socially balanced, friendly and happy. He also highlighted how men with high EQ are not prone to unnecessary fear and worries, have the ability to commit and live by it, carry ethical outlook along with sympathy and create a holistic repertoire. Whereas women are considered more socially responsible than male and are found more attentive to their feelings. Also in this study, he stated females scored higher in interpersonal skills, empathy and social responsibility whereas male scored superior in stress tolerance and self-regard.
Though later Goleman (1998) in his studies affirmed that there is no difference in EQ of both men and women however they vary in strengths in weaknesses. Their profiles of strengths and weaknesses vary differently in different dimensions.
Contradicting Goleman’s theory of equal EQ, many social researchers and psychologists stated that women are more likely to score higher on measures of Emotional Intelligence (Mayer and Geher, 1996); (Mayer, Caruso, and Salovey, 1999). Further justified, females are often exposed to family and job related stressors than their male counterparts because of their engagement as both mothers and professionals (Roxburgh, 1996; Simon, 1995) They also tend to face gender-specific resistance in efforts to reach the highest positions in organizational hierarchies (Cotton, Hermsen, Ovadia, and Vanneman, 2001). However, as a part of argument, these family responsibilities and gender specific resistance does not emerge in the beginning of the career however they create a hurdle in the later stages of work life. But since middle aged women face challenges than their younger counterparts, which hampers their perceived job control and as a whole their overall productivity. More recent studies highlight relationship between gender difference and emotional intelligence among 150 adolescents and concluded that girls were found to have higher EI than that of boys (Katal and Awasthi, 2005). In another study conducted amongst 234 Iranian students proved the forestated fact that EI of girls is higher than that of the boys (Naghavi, 2012). A study amongst first year medical students also justified that even though both majority of males and females have good EI scores, women have slightly better statistics to justify their superiority in EI (Kavana, et.al, 2012). Culturally, women are better at expressing feelings and more verbally fluent making them more emotionally intelligent as compared to their male counterparts. Though no significant differences weren’t cited, it shed light that females were more emotionally intelligent than males (Singh, 2002; Ryff, Singer, Wing & Love, 2001).
But in contrast to previous stated findings and also Goleman’s theories, many psychologists pinpointed that men have more EI than women. A study with N.W.F.P Snowball sampling technique amongst 80 males and 80 females signified males have higher EQ than females (Ahmad, Bangash and Khan, 2009). The findings highlighted the fact that men are more assertive, have more impulse and stress control and more independent (Kaneez, 2006). Similarly gender differences and emotional intelligence among 112 employees of small and medium enterprise (SME) were assessed in four sectors (Khalili, 2011). This findings also indicated that men have higher EQ than women. In another study, Emotional Intelligence was associated with positive aspects such as self esteem, achievement, and psychological well-being of an individual with regard to gender (Shin, 2011). A major reason being male being more independent, emotionally assertive and have more control in stressful situations.
One important aspect for this indifference is that males and females are socialized and educated differently (Duckelt & Raffali, 1989; Sandhu & Mehrotra, 1999). In overall socialising process, peers, parents, media, society encourages females to be more cooperative, expressive, attuned to interpersonal world, emotionally caring whereas males are fine tuned to be competitive, instrumental, fierce and independent (Petrides & Furnham, 2006). Amidst common belief that it is biologically inherited, studies shows that till the age of 10, both males and females show similar emotional intelligence in all aspects and significant variations occur after the age of 13 (Karniz and karniz). As compared to sons, parents share more information regarding emotions to daughters (Broady and Hall). This study focuses on the possibility of attaining gender equity through knowledge of characteristic gender differences, significant trait variations through emotional intelligence.
Our solution to attaining gender equity is understanding these various emotional intelligence parameters that makes men and women supersede each other in various aspects of life. Our study highlights the fact that by individually studying these various competencies, gender equity can be attained by giving the correct guidance to both genders to create a healthy workplace. We put forward the solution in light to existing socio-cultural and economic variations that is witnessed across geographical boundaries. All link back to Goleman’s studies (1995), that EQ of both men and women are almost the same but they vary in particular areas of expertise.
Starting with the four base quadrants of emotional intelligence, self awareness, social awareness, self- management and relationship management. These 4 quadrants are self- explanatory and their inculcation in men and women is also self-explanatory taking current world scenarios. As discussed earlier, cases of confidence and leadership, the differences lead back to early life education. These years determine and provide an approach to how a child will survive in life and to the holistic development of both male and female. Since this creates a base for the difference in emotional, physical, and natural difference in the growth of a child, this lay a foundation to the gender equity.
Emotional Intelligence reduces this barrier. Proper training at workplace for empathetic approaches, relationship management, team building strategies for men etc. while physical training, team leading opportunities etc. given to women can lead to balancing of both the variables.
The approach is simple. Gender Equity means providing sufficient resources to both genders to give them a push in their career. In India, various new initiatives have been taken to enhance this concept. The reservation of women in premium engineering institutes, at workplace is an example. The 14% reservation in seats might seem unfair to the lot, but it enhances the performance of both men and women. The inclusion of women in a team, evidently makes the men be more concerned about responsibilities, emotional availability while its an opportunity for a woman to understand social competitiveness, fierceness in work approach etc. The following is a research report on a sample of 90 adults (Bindu P. Immanuel Thomas,2006).
This table shows where both genders lack. Instead of neglecting the factors, we can establish training methods to enhance both. Some notable programmes initiated by companies today include Career 2.0 by Genpact, Restart by GE and Back in the Game by Philips. All these programmes target equal exposure to both men and women to all kinds of working environments and adapt to changing situations and the need of the hour. Another initiative by Govt. of India, Companies Act,2013 states that every publicly listed company has to appoint a woman’s director on its board.
While emotional training to men have produced significant improvement in men’s performance at C-suite level positions, physical training to women have justified that even though men supersede women at strength, women are better at endurance. Brian Dalton, a professor at UBC states that women are less fatigable than men during isometric muscle tests.
To provide a brief solution:
- Reassess job requirements for C-suite positions considering EQ.
- Hiring managers should circulate resumes without names to ensure indiscrimination.
- Inculcating mandatory vocabulary and communication courses at Tier-1 colleges.
- Creating moral values courses as well as physical education courses and strictly adhering to the student’s performance.
- Criticising and assessing both men and women equally without considering biological differences to provide equal scope for improvement.
- Ensure reduction in gender pay gap.
- Companies to encourage men to express their feelings rather than hide them for the so called machismo.
- Create workshops, conferences and educate men and women regarding their weaknesses and persuade them to enhance these skills rather than hide them under social stigma.
Early studies debated upon how emotional intelligence is an important aspect to enhance personal growth and development. While a crucial social topic, Gender equity came to limelight in current world scenario. We tried to join these two strings. Emotional Intelligence is an answer to various problems and our study assessed how gender equity can be attained through it. A person who can manage himself/herself and handle society and relations efficiently is the only answer to gender equity. Men and women are considered different in social and work aspects, but emotional intelligence justifies that fine tuning some basic characteristics that are inculcated within the course of time, rather than biologically, both can equally contribute to the workforce. And afterall, a small step towards equality in a giant leap for the entire world. Emotional Intelligence is no more an underrated topic, rather a solution to numerous problems that intelligence couldn’t answer or attain since ages.
Limitations and Further Scope
Our study is based on Goleman’s works. Its evident that if it works the way Goleman envisioned it to be, then it’ll prosper as anything. Ideally, it’s a win-win situation for both in which everyone benefits.
The problem lies in the heart of the concept that it is morally neutral. Every great idea is as prosperous as it is dangerous. In this case also, the idea of each other’s awareness may be used by some to help each other grow while some may use it as a weapon to destroy each other’s path. Emotional Intelligence shares men’s and women’s strengths and weaknesses with each other and as self explanatory as it seems, malicious intents won’t hesitate to use weaknesses.
Another problem lies in the fact is higher EQ always as beneficial as seems. Some great leaders of today share the fact that they have no friends, no emotions, brute will to succeed and no regard for friends and family and they propagate this idea as well. Then our idea fails as a whole. Since emotions always seem to create a backdrop when it comes to robust work. In its extreme from EQ can also be used to achieve sheer Machiavellianism.
So is the case with gender equity. Gender Equity’s ultimate goal is to create men and women as one. If every individual is persuaded to become each other, individuality is lost. Also we can’t be in relation with someone who is exactly the same as us. Everyone will become self sustainable and it’ll be difficult to We believe gender equity is necessary because diversity of thought, experience and opinion offers more innovation, acceptance and, ultimately, profit into the world. Andover- heightened competition always hinders overall growth, not contributes.