The Sexual Paradox

Why women earn less, men are fragile and more - Forschergruppe Workshop with Susan Pinker, Canadian bestselling author and psychologist, in cooperation with Joanneum Research and w-fFORTE an initiative of Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft, Familie und Jugend.

In this thought-provoking and enjoyable workshop the world-famous Canadian bestselling author and psychologist Susan Pinker ("The Sexual Paradox") gave one of her rare appearances in Europe, examining the role of sex differences. Thereby she turns many wide-spread assumptions upside down: that intelligence is all it takes to succeed, or that men and women want exactly the same things out of work and life.

The workshop focussed on the following questions

  • What does the latest science say about sex differences in verbal skills, empathy, and competition?
  • How might these skills influence career ambitions?
  • How about your personal "Empathy Quotient" and your tendency to predict, and care about the feelings and internal states of others?
  • How can effective leadership look like regarding these premises?
  • Which challenges does that bring about for human resources development, leadership and organizations as a whole?

Are women and men really interchangeable when it comes to happiness and what they consider to be success? In this entertaining and informative introduction to the roots of sex differences, we learned from Susan Pinker how some biological factors combine with learning to influence how we solve problems, how we establish our priorities and ultimately, how long we will live. This snapshot of the science of sex differences sheds new light on your ambitions and the life trajectories of the people around you, at home and in your workplace.

Empathy and Mindreading at Work

New evidence shows that our biology has an impact on how well we can read the emotions of other people, and how motivated we are to strategize about their internal states and intentions. This "mindreading" ability can be counterbalanced by other skills, such as a drive to understand predictable systems, or the drive to compete.

What do the latest trends say about how work will evolve over the next decade? The higher and still growing percentage of female university graduates will bring more women to higher levels of management and other professions. Adjustments to corporate culture - in work-life balance, autonomy and social responsibility - will be on the agenda for businesses that want to survive the influx of women, who have differing views of loyalty and career-building than has been standard in the past. How might these trends affect you?

Susan Pinker is a developmental psychologist and award winning national newspaper columnist who writes about psychology and social science. She spent 25 years in clinical practice and teaching. Her bestselling book, "The Sexual Paradox: Extreme Men, Gifted Women and the Real Gender Gap", sparked international interest and debate and has been published in 12 languages and 14 countries. Susan's ideas have been featured in the New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, and Der Spiegel, among other publications.