Please click on the Themes tab for a quick summary of key topics we identified, and on the Book Club tab for a more detailed literature review, organized by themes.
From the society’s perspective, both fairness and optimal allocation of resource suggest that organizations must learn how to develop and retain women in meaningful numbers at every level of leadership. Women have been making inroads into leadership for five decades. But, for a host of reasons, the numbers continue to lag behind the mindset. Women appear to opt out at various stages of their careers. As a result, the pipeline of qualified candidates for top management and corporate boards is weakened and so
is women’s collective voice. We need to ask, “…if women are making choices in terms of the ‘price’ of career ambition in pursuit of the ‘prize’ of career success, why is it that for so many the price appears to be too high or the prize insufficiently attractive?” (Sealy 2010).
One can seek answers in a range of places. At one end, we have legislation, diversity policy, and awareness-raising initiatives. At the other, there is self-help material and informal networking, both targeting women. In the middle is the organization and its people – that’s where execution happens. That may also be where we have a gap, despite diversity committees and organized mentorship and coaching for women. We know that gap exists because there is no escaping the fact that the numbers lag behind the mindset.
Gender Incorporated aims to brainstorm practical ideas that could make it easier for organizations and their mainly male senior leaders to make it more difficult for women to be lured by opt-out. And, equally importantly, to position women in equal numbers to men for promotion to top levels of leadership. We have a very specific focus in mind –the “inner workings” of organizations. We propose to focus on the organizational infrastructure, processes and norms.
“Many little steps generate critical mass” is our guiding principle (van Beinum 2000). But we also keep in mind the advice that “…processes and procedures should be designed to disrupt rather than reinforce [status quo]. This may require [senior leaders] to be both imaginative and brave” (Pryce and Sealy 2013).
How to share your ideas
Send an email with your ideas, or reach out to arrange a chat in person. Invite other people you know who may have interest and ideas.
We will incorporate your suggestions into the Ideas section of Gender Incorporated. We are happy to discuss your ideas with you and to offer editorial assistance if needed.
We would like to acknowledge all contributors on the Gender Incorporated website - unless you tell us you prefer to remain anonymous.
Much has been said about this issue. On one hand, we have academic research based on senior-level in-depth interviews with women and men, and surveys
and questionnaires. On the other hand,there is journalistic investigation, management consulting, the coaching industry and popular literature, backed by stories generously shared by sometimes very senior women. Gender Incorporated aspires to spark brainstorming by “regular people” working across a wide range of industries and organizations who currently live through or observe gender challenges. We want to hear not just your ideas for organizations, but also your stories, and your thoughts on what does not work – even if you don’t know how to solve those problems yet.
In the Book Club section we have summarized research articles, books, and some popular literature we used to help develop our ideas. These original ideas and opinions can be found in the Ideas section. We organized the Book Club along major themes that reflect the body of literature. The reader should not assume that our views necessarily agree with the interpretations found in the works that we reference. All errors and omissions are ours, and will be corrected when pointed out.
Gender Incorporated is an individual initiative with no organizational backing or funding. All opinions expressed here are of Gender Incorporated and its contributors. This material, either in whole or in part, is subject to copyright of Gender Incorporated and all of contributors. We invite dissemination and citation – please source as “Gender Incorporated, www.genderincorporated.com”, and – importantly, where appropriate, specific academic sources that we in turn reference.
The three quotes on this page come from the papers reviewed in our Book Club, and are referenced in the Reading List.