A graduate level class at Santa Clara University, Gender and Engineering, taught by Bonita Banducci, President of Banducci Consulting, is causing break-throughs in self-awareness for participants who learn to understand how the different cultural lenses, paradigms, and competencies held by men and women affect the engineering workplace and personal relationships.
By framing gender competencies, communication and leadership styles in terms engineers can readily relate to, Banducci helps students understand themselves and each other and their colleagues at work as never before. With this knowledge, they can stop labeling themselves or another person as ‘wrong,’ can put into words what they and others contribute, and can understand how others who are different can be effective.
"Research has shown that ‘collective intelligence’ and productivity is increased in groups with varying perspectives and sets of competencies,” Banducci said; Effective management of differences contributes to research, development, and marketing of products and processes as well as increased advancement of both men and women.
Another benefit of understanding gender is the effect it can have on the students’ personal lives. “For me, this is very rewarding work,” Banducci continued. “Many of the most remarkable results are from international students who have strong traditions built around gender roles. They report not only improvement in situations that had been thwarting career advancement, but also peace and deepened relationship with parents and spouses that was brought about because of their own transformation.”
Banducci isn’t alone in her enthusiasm for the class. One student, who works as a design engineering in the R&D group of his company, wrote: “This class was a journey of self-discovery for me. I feel [Professor Banducci] just handed me the key to my inner self so I can begin to understand myself. Yes, I feel that much more liberated.”
Gender and Engineering is an interactive course which is also given in a workshop format.
The course draws on research in Brain Science, Social Linguistics and Cross Cultural Understanding as well as Business Practices and students’ real work place case studies regarding gender differences in the engineering work place.
It provides a foundation for managing the different worlds – the different cultural lenses and paradigms – ultimately different competencies, and communication and leadership styles, many women and men bring to an engineering workplace. Effective management of differences minimizes fire fighting and increases productivity, customer focus, and innovation in research, development and marketing of products, as well as increasing retention and promotions of both women and men.
“Mine the Gold” of each individual of your organization by understanding gender-culture differences.
Build collaboration and innovation by permeating organizational culture with new competencies.
Increase promotability of people, men and women, who work effectively with different leadership and communication styles and different competencies.
Enrich organizational community; Begin a dialogue for valuing differences to take into the workplace and the global marketplace.
Understand gender differences in how the brain is activated, how that influences communication, perception, and logic and the impact on relationships and work.
Apply the Steps for Making Communication Differences Work: acknowledge, understand, adopt, and adapt for more effective communications and innovation.
Create your own solutions to gender issues, eliminate blame, and build understanding for effective working relationships.
Use new rationales for dealing with persistent obstructions to organizational effectiveness.
Permeate Organizational Culture with New Competencies?Identify Different Attributes of Leadership.
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BEGIN A DIALOGUE FOR VALUING DIFFERENCES