John Batelle notes that many of the thousands of people who were fired from or have left Twitter after Musk’s purchase of the company were women. He provides links to the profiles of 17 of these women.
“Twitter was probably the most intentionally open, accommodating, and thoughtful work culture the Valley has ever produced at scale. And it’s not a coincidence that a healthy percentage of Twitter’s senior executives were women. Nor is it a coincidence that nearly all of them have left. I started keeping a list of the extraordinary women I worked with over the past few years who have recently departed the company. And just for posterity, and perhaps for you all to add to, I present it here. Think about all the men cheering on Elon’s ‘Hardcore’ philosophy, who agree with him that the people below, and countless others, are unnecessary. Read through these names, click on their profiles, and ponder the roles they played in the nuanced ecosystem Twitter once was.” —John Batelle 2022-11-28
This strikes me as the last gasp of men, mostly white, trying to reassert their dominance by force. In 2017 I wrote that our future is networked and feminine and showed how leadership traits traditionally seen as more feminine, are those deemed to be the most important today — e.g. communicative, reasonable, flexible. I don’t think that any of these would be used to describe Elon Musk.
In bias thwarts innovation I stated that human systems thrive on variety and diversity and gender bias thwarts diversity. Innovation requires diversity because innovation is not so much about having ideas as it is about making connections. Men cannot connect the dots if they are only paying attention to half of them.
“What really matters is to mirror the diversity of the world we serve. We need more women … more humanities majors … more people of colour … more professionals coming from other jobs … in short, a much bigger diversity of viewpoints at all levels. We also need more network and co-construction across levels, as the old pyramidal system is no longer fit for purpose.” —Céline Schillinger
If we continue to ignore fifty percent of the population, what will happen in the near future? Will companies, countries, and societies with a gender power balance outpace patriarchal ones? Here is a lesson from the long past, when not enough brains led to the diminishing of collective knowledge.
“You start out with two genetically well-intermixed peoples. Tasmania’s actually connected to mainland Australia so it’s just a peninsula. Then about 10,000 years ago, the environment changes, it gets warmer and the Bass Strait floods, so this cuts off Tasmania from the rest of Australia, and it’s at that point that they begin to have this technological downturn. You can show that this is the kind of thing you’d expect if societies are like brains in the sense that they store information as a group and that when someone learns, they’re learning from the most successful member, and that information is being passed from different communities, and the larger the population, the more different minds you have working on the problem.
If your number of minds working on the problem gets small enough, you can actually begin to lose information. There’s a steady state level of information that depends on the size of your population and the interconnectedness. It also depends on the innovativeness of your individuals, but that has a relatively small effect compared to the effect of being well interconnected and having a large population.” –How Culture Drove Human Evolution
Research from Gallup showed that female managers are much more effective at driving engagement.
“Another stunning finding is that employees of female managers on average are at least 6 percentage points more engaged than those who work for a male manager. In fact, out of the 12 different questions Gallup uses to diagnose a person’s engagement, employees of female managers outscore male managers on 11 of those items.
Only one out of three workers has a female boss today, yet women leaders eclipse their male counterparts in many of the ways known to inspire high levels of commitment, initiative, and loyalty in 21st-century workers. They more consistently cultivate the potential in their people by creating challenging assignments. They praise and value people for their efforts and contributions. They take steps to foster a positive and cooperative work environment.” —FC 2015-04-29
Umair Haque sees the need for a universal mother to emerge to counter the dominant authoritarian father.
“Why do our societies feel so out of control? So imbalanced? Like they’re collapsing and crumbling before our very eyes? The reason is very simple, in one way. Too many authoritarian fathers — not enough universal mothers. Societies like America and Britain have long histories of empire building, which reflect cultures of authoritarian fatherhood. It’s no surprise that as the world became a little more powerful, and they became a little less powerful — they retreated into a desperate search for authoritarian fathers. Reagan … Bush … Trump. But Theresa May is Britain’s authoritarian father — not its mother — sternly commanding it, threatening it with terrible punishment, cracking the whip over it.” —Umair Haque 2019-01-16
Our optimal future is networked and feminine, despite Musk and many other authoritarians. The traditional political Right wants to go back to the Pre-modern (Institutional) Era — dogmatic, faith, truth — while the traditional political Left wants to stay in the Modern (Market) Era — doubting, science, facts. However, the best way ahead is toward a Meta-modern (Network) Era — seeking, knowledge, combining.
We need to cast-off our complicated and mechanistic approaches to governance and create a society that understands complexity. This is not through an authoritarian father figure but a universal mother figure focused on renewal. Creation is complex. Only mothers can give birth. Only they can create a better world.