The Girl Effect

Women make groups smarter.

That’s the Big Reveal from latest research on collective intelligence. (And yes, it’s so radical it even makes the researchers uncomfortable.)

History has shown that great innovation happens in groups. But curiously, great groups don’t arise simply by filling the room with talented individuals.

What do you hear about great groups? Not that the members are all really smart but that they listen to each other. They share criticism constructively. They have open minds. They’re not autocratic. And in our study we saw pretty clearly that groups that had smart people dominating the conversation were not very intelligent groups. ~ Anita Woolley

Groups get smarter as the number of women in the group increases.

That’s not a call for more women, fewer men. It’s about saying, we’re better together. Let the ladies be part of it. Jean Brittingham writes for Fast Company that the wicked-big problems we are facing right now on our tender blue planet demand action, innovation, collaboration. The urgency demands sweeping egos aside.

If the research says, groups are smarter when there are more women at the table, then set out some pink napkins and let’s get started.

I’m taking this research out of the think-tanks and into the mountains next week, on assignment for SBC Skier. Heading to Revelstoke with photographer Robin O’Neill, who I haven’t worked with since our summer campaign for Choose Pemberton, and a crew of athletes including Laura Ogden, Izzy Lynch, Tessa Treadway, and Tatum Monod, we’ll put The Girl Effect to the test.

Girls Day Out – Revelstoke Mountain Resort – March 2011 from Zoya Lynch on Vimeo.


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