Causes and effects of women on negotiation table in times of conflict

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Causes and effects of women on negotiation table in times of conflict

women negotiating table

In 2018 we are still witnessing gender inequality when it comes to women in power. We see government have more male leaders than women and we see more males CEO’s compared to females.

But how can this be? Women in power can often mean less conflict and more fair negotiation between multiple parties.

According to an article in The Guardian, women have a positive and significant impact in times of conflict and assist to creating peace, as the probability of violence and conflict ending within a year increases by 24 per cent.

As women, we have the nature to be nurturing, strong and understanding, which means addressing a negotiation can mean women are more likely to empathize with the other negotiator on the table.

The facts don’t lie, as said by UN Women, when a female is included in the peace process, there is a 20 percent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least two years and a 35 percent increase the agreement will last at least 15 years. However, the reality is, the number of women on the majority of the negotiation tables do not match the number of males.

What is ‘negotiation’? It is a discussion with an aim to reach an agreement. Yes, an agreement, which means whoever is negotiating should agree with the outcome.

Research conducted by Tilburg University concluded that males and females negotiation skills do not differentiate, so why do we not have more women leading the way?

As a negotiation style, women use collaboration techniques to resolve conflict, hence an ‘agreement’. This means women are more likely to end with a solution that is fair on both parties, which can end in no further conflict in the future.

If having women on the negotiation table results in less conflict and more civil agreements than we need people to step up! We need to increase awareness of gender stereotypes in the workplace. We need managers to lead by example and train women – and men – on effective negotiation skills and we need to educate team members to encourage women to come forward and play key roles in the negotiation process.

The desired outcome of empowering women to step up and be heard on the negotiation table would be to assist in reducing the gender pay gap and gender differences in the workplace and the world around us.

To do this we also need to educate and train all members in a workplace to have good listening skills, to have high emotional intelligence, excellent communication skills, an open expression of thought and to understand the two or more parties involved in the negotiation process.

If we accept that not one person is the same, if we agree everyone has a different outlook on life, a different perceptive on the world, then why are we putting a difference between having a male or a female playing a role in negotiations?

If we empower everyone to have the confidence to succeed than we will continue to have better outcomes in times of conflict.


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