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This presentation considers the implications of barriers to women’s full parity in management by exploring the effects of female representation on boards and in senior management

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Monday 14 January 2019
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14:00–15:30
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Professor Virginia E. Schein; Professor Emerita of Management and Psychology; Gettysburg College, USA

Overview

Women have yet to achieve full equality in management, especially at senior levels. Worldwide women hold 24% of senior management positions.

Forty-five years ago, Schein identified gender stereotyping of the managerial position as a major barrier to women’s advancement in management. Her 1973/75 research showed that women are perceived as less likely than men to possess the characteristics required of successful managers.

Although women’s status in management has improved over the last 45 years, gender stereotyping of the managerial position persists, especially among males, across time and cultures. By fostering a view that men are more qualified than women for managerial positions, gender stereotyping limits women’s progress in management.

The presentation considers the implications of this barrier to women’s full parity in management by exploring the question: If we had a more balanced representation of women in positions of power and influence, would it matter? The effects of female representation on boards of directors and in senior management on organisational outcomes are examined. Recent research on gender balance and world peace is also examined. Ways to achieve gender balance at senior levels are considered, with a particular focus on work and organisational design.

It is time to challenge corporate convenient assumptions about how managerial work is done. Addressing this challenge and redesigning managerial work so that it facilitates the full participation of women and men will enhance women's opportunities to achieve parity in positions of power and influence in organisations.

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