How Women Decide

From the Show: HER
Summary: How do different genders make decisions?
Air Date: 8/10/17
Duration: 28:36
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Therese Huston, PhD
Dr. Therese HustonTherese Huston, PhD, is looking to change how we talk about women at work. 

Therese is a cognitive scientist at Seattle University and the New York Times calls her new book, How Women Decide “required reading on Wall Street.” She’s debunks popular myths about how men and women make decisions, and last fall, she gave her first TEDx talk on why groups make better choices when they include women. Therese received her BA from Carleton College and her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.  

Microsoft, Amazon, the Cleveland Clinic, and Harvard Business School have all brought Therese in to lead workshops on how to create more inclusive workplaces for women.
  • Book Title: HOW WOMEN DECIDE: What’s True, What’s Not, and What Strategies Spark the Best Choices
  • Guest Facebook Account: www.facebook.com/Therese.Huston
  • Guest Twitter Account: @ThereseHuston
How Women Decide
Most books about decision-making are written by men. All the examples are from a male perspective. As a result, there are some misconceptions and misunderstandings about how women decide.

There are stereotypes about women. “It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind” is one example. It suggests that women aren’t as decisive as men. This is untrue.

Women tend to be more analytical than men. There’s a saying about women being more intuitive. Research shows that women collect more information and analyze everything before making a decision.

Men and women make decisions differently under stress. Men tend to take more risks than they would ordinarily when huge gains or losses are on the line. Stressed women are more likely to make the safe bet and go with the sure thing. Different areas of the brain are impacted when men and women face stress.

Tips for Making Decisions in Business

  • Make sure both men and women are in the room when important decisions are being made. The environment needs to be conducive to women’s voices being heard regarding those decisions.
  • Encourage risk-taking in the workplace so women feel comfortable taking risks. Make it easier for women to step up.
  • Mentor women to speak up on their ideas when they’re not absolutely certain they will work. It’s better to speak up and be 60% certain than to stay quiet until 80% certain.
Listen as Dr. Therese Huston joins Dr. Pamela Peeke to share how women make decisions.


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