Do Men and Women Have Different Brains?

medical image of a brain

There have long been claims that women’s and men’s brains were different. leading to differences in personalities and abilities. While men’s brains overall brain size is a little over 10% larger than women’s, no specific brain areas are disproportionately larger between the sexes. In fact, brains are proportional to body size and when properly controlled, no individual brain region varies by more than about 1% between men and women.

Why does this matter? Have you ever heard,”women aren’t as good at math”? Or, “women are natural caregivers”. Or, “men are better with tools”? Turns out that there are no data to support those statements. In fact, according to this article from The Conversation, each brain is a “mosaic of circuits that control the many dimensions of masculinity and femininity, such as emotional expressiveness, interpersonal style, verbal and analytic reasoning, sexuality and gender identity itself.”

There is certainly more work to be done – but untangling some of these long-held beliefs is a great place to begin.

Big Bird and Impostor Syndrome?

Sesame Street characters including Big Bird

This article from Fast Company shares an example of how many women feel they stand out like Big Bird (a 8’2″ bright yellow bird featured on the children’s program, Sesame Street) in the workplace. Whether they are presenting in a boardroom, returning from maternity leave or simply navigating the day-to-day, many women feel disproportionately affected by impostor syndrome.

In this piece, Mark McClain (CEO of SailPoint) shares three tips for how leaders can help their employees overcome impostor syndrome. Specifically, he mentions making space for people to share their authentic selves, encouraging balance and practicing small acts of kindness.

Interview with Michelle Tunno Buelow of Bella Tunno

Bella Tunno company logo

This interview in Medium is one of a series entitled “Second Chapters: How I Reinvented Myself in the Second Chapter of My Life.” In this piece, Michelle Tunno Buelow shares stories from her journey to found and launch Bella Tunno. Bella Tunno is a baby accessory brand on a mission to end childhood hunger. For every product sold, Bella Tunno donates at least one meal to a hungry child. To date, Bella Tunno has donated more than 5.5 million meals. 

In the interview, Michelle Tunno Buelow shares the importance of finding and embracing your purpose in life. She also outlines some key attributes that have enabled her to succeed as an entrepreneurs: her resilience, ability to be comfortable with the uncomfortable and overall scrappiness. She discusses her battles with imposter syndrome as well as the importance of being able to “fail forward”. Wonderful lessons and insights from an inspirational entrepreneur!

Link to Webinar: Speaking with Confidence and Authenticity

Casey Carpenter during her webinar discussion

Your communication skills have a direct impact on your ability to raise funds and motivate your team. In today’s socially distanced environment, it’s more important than ever that your message shines through, even when you’re not able to address your audience in person.

This skill-building webinar session led by professional speaker and coach Casey Carpenter will help you discover how to pitch with confidence and authenticity in a virtual setting. You’ll walk away with tools to craft a persuasive message and techniques to deliver that message in a way that engages your audience. Click here to access the recording of the 4/8/21 talk.

More information about Casey Carpenter’s company as well as links to resources mentioned in her talk can be found here.

The World Needs More Bonobos In Charge

two bonobos interacting

This piece from NPR’s All Things Considered shares research being done at a bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Both bonobos and chimpanzees are the closest living relatives of humans – but the social dynamics in bonobo and chimp social structures are noticeably different.

While chimps tend to be more male-dominated and aggressive, bonobos place a higher social status on females. According to the NPR piece, “Chimps tend to rely on cunning and competition. Bonobos emphasize cooperation and sharing.” In addition, research has shown that “bonobo brains include special circuits for social interaction that are not found in chimpanzees. The result is an animal predisposed to sharing, tolerance, negotiation and cooperation.”

Sounds like Bonobo matriarchies are the way to go!