I just found out that a big Canadian bank is training all of its employees by a UK company. The UK facilitator gave a free book to all participants called The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters. The book includes some fairly absurd ideas about how humans think. Worst of all , it is sexist. For example Peters uses chimpanzees to describe male and female behavior. Here is a quote: “If you think about it, a female chimpanzee that is highly insecure is the one that is most likely to survive. A confident female chimpanzee is probably not going to make it! It seems reasonable then that female inner Chimps [genetic instincts] are frequently lacking in confidence and wary. They can be quick to become anxious and therefore avoid decision making for fear of getting it wrong.” Argh. I am not sure where Mr Peters got this idea since ALL the science says females (and males) are not born very different at all when it come to intelligence and competence. Women are most definately not born weak, insecure or poor decision makers (our culture is mostly to blame). I hope that all your training materials are reviewed for sexism. If not, let me do it. One tip: all training materials should be backed by CURRENT research and not out-dated stereotypes and try not to mention apes when referring to human behavior.
Are your training materials sexist?
About the Author: Maureen Fitzgerald
Maureen F. Fitzgerald, PhD is a Gender Diversity Advisor, xLawyer and Author. She consults to corporations and governments on how to advance women and specifically attract, retain and promote women. Maureen is author of twelve books, including Occupy Women, Lean Out and Invite the Bully to Tea. She has a business degree (BComm) from the University of Alberta, a law degree (JD) from the University of Western Ontario, a master’s degree in law (LLM) with distinction from the London School of Economics and a doctorate degree (PhD) from the University of British Columbia.