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Kurt Schmoke
Political/Education leader

Kurt Schmoke

A former mayor of Baltimore City, Kurt Schmoke is Dean of Howard University School of Law.

Gender Is Not Destiny

Quite a provocative question, but the bottom line for me is that, in decision making, gender is not destiny. While it is clear that society should promote greater diversity in leadership positions in all walks of life, we should not expect that a person's gender will be a predictive factor in his or her approach to problem solving.

Men and women were involved in decisions that led to the current financial predicament, though it is clear that men far outnumbered women in the top leadership posts in corporate America. Hopefully, in the future there will be a more diverse selection of people with differing points of view and with differing educational backgrounds making the primary decisions about the course of our economy. Their different training and perspectives, rather than their gender, will be the most important influences on their decision-making.

By Kurt Schmoke

 |  March 9, 2009; 2:57 AM ET
Category:  Women in Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Breaking the Mold | Next: Women in Fantasy Land

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Perhaps if there were more women heading financial institutions right this moment there would have been less risk-taking.

Not because of gender, but because of the novelty. Few people rush headlong into things until there is a history of rewarded risk-taking.

Speaking of which, extinction is difficult to achieve. Why? Because if an individual is rewarded even as little as 20% of the time, they'll continue to play the game. Even if the rewards get smaller and smaller. Slots, for example. The stock market. Anyone ever wonder why people play the lottery or gamble?

Posted by: Skowronek | March 9, 2009 2:20 PM
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