Most of you know that men greatly outnumber women in the tech workforce; however, many of you may be astounded that in fact, the tech industry only has around 25% female workers. As more women enter the tech industry, more and more tech firms begin to realize the benefits those women bring. So what makes women able to have such a great impact in tech? The answer is their type-E brains. Women who have a type-E brain are naturally specialized in maintaining stable and healthy relationships. In the workplace, having well built relationships is the key to a more productive working environment.
Right now, some of you must be wondering, “What is a type-E brain?” or, “What are you even talking about right now?” So allow me to clarify. Based off the claims of an evolutionary psychologist, there are two types of brains: type-S and type-E. Individuals who have a type-S brain suggests that they are more systematic – hence the S – so that they rely more on logic, i.e. having an inventor’s mind. On the other side of the plate, there’s the type-E brain, which represents empathy. People who have type-E brains are better at empathizing with others, which helps and strengthens relationships with others. Social stigma and gender gap statistics suggests that most males have a type-S brain, and most females have a type-E brain. This explains why many women can build strong relationships with others, which is why many type-E people have great social skills. By this logic, this also suggests that many males with type-S brains have trouble building and maintaining bonds in the workplace, thus explains their poor social skills. Having more empathizers in tech creates a better working environment.
In the book Virtual Love, Virginia Libert – who is based off of the author herself – is a fictional character, and a manager in Google’s AdSense department. She independent woman, struggling to find balance between her work and personal life. Her type-E brain, along with all the obstacles she faced, allowed her to connect with her workers and colleagues on a personal level. She can be seen connecting with her staff by setting up different ways of communication and by introducing a friendly workplace environment by changing the layout of the office. If any of her workers seemed to be underperforming or distant, she would have a meeting with them and talk about their situation. For example, one of her workers, Bo, was coming to work later each day. She figured that something was wrong so she confronted him about the situation, and she learned that Bo was addicted to computer games. He would stay up in the night, and get very little sleep, which explains why he was late to work. Although she only had some success with Bo, her other meetings were more successful. The trend in her meetings often begins with Virginia empathizing with the person who had a problem. Then, she would give them a pep talk with suggestions on how to deal with the cause of their stress. At the end of each meeting, the worker would usually feel better, and ends up performing better. Overall, her meetings increased workplace mood and productivity. The fruits of her labor can be seen during her first meeting with the executives of Google, where they were astonished about her accomplishments of gaining over 2 million publishers. Clearly, this is the result of her excellent social skills that stem from her type E brain. While this novel portrays the importance of having empathizers in the tech industry, it also illustrates a real world trend – that tech companies are hiring more women with type-E brains.
Because Virtual Love is a novel, you might not believe how it correlates with the real world, so here are some more concrete examples. Recent studies have shown that women in tech are more likely to collaborate with others – around 84%; 10% higher than men. Since most women have a innate predisposition of having a type-E brain, you can assume that this higher percentage can be attributed to having a type-E brain. Since women with type-E brains naturally have stronger social skills, this research suggests that they also collaborate really well. Common sense dictates that collaboration is one of the keys for a successful business, as it can boost creativity and help strengthen relationships. These factors have the potential to boost productivity, which helps the tech company as a whole.
Collaboration between people can be seen by a previous “tech boom” that occurred around the 1850’s. While not really a tech boom, the California Gold Rush has many similarities to our current situation. The tech boom and Gold Rush originated in California, both are dominated by men, and women with type-E brains helped people working in the boom. In the book They Saw the Elephant, a group of people named the Jayhawks were traversing through the precarious desert, Death Valley. Without much resources, the members of the Jayhawks were struggling to survive. Juliette Brier, mother of three, managed to help the group stay afloat in a waterless wasteland. All three of her children weakened by dehydration, so she “frequently carried one of her children on her back, another in her arms, and held the third by the hand.” Not only did she carry her children, she also tended to the sick, which made her a hero to the Jayhawks. While her actions did not necessarily increase work place productivity, it demonstrates that she had the ability to help others and form relationships. Even though her way of collaboration was one-sided, it was overall beneficial to the group. This also reinforces the fact that women are more likely to collaborate with others. Since Juliette was seen as a hero, you can infer that her relationship with each member of the group must be strong, which also implies that she managed to build her relationships by collaboration. You can probably put two and two together to see that she clearly has a type-E brain. If she was working in a tech firm, she would be a Virginia Libert, in a sense that Juliette could form great relationships among her colleagues and staff. Hence, she could easily improve workplace productivity – if she was born 150 years later.
“When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.” – Stephen Covey. This quote clearly describes what can happen if women with type-E brains work in the tech industry. Their skills can help boost collaboration, which also strengthen relationships. As a result, workplace productivity increases, which is why tech companies should hire more women.