Gender equality in the workplace: The need to walk the talk

John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco, the multinational networking organisation, has admitted that while he has always considered himself sensitive to gender issues in the workplace, he hasn't 'walked the talk' with regards to taking leadership in ensuring gender equality, development and promotion in the organisation. To improve this going forward, he has asked his top managers to develop and implement women-focused initiatives. Only one quarter of the organisation's employees and top executives are women, which has led Chambers to confess that Cisco's existing gender equality and development policies and practices haven't worked. He suggests that, subconsciously, without realising it, we go about our day to day work with gender stereotypes and biases, which we don't even realise are placing Continue reading here [...]

Workplace Culture and Employee Engagement

How you feel in your work environment matters! To you and to your organisation! There are positive correlations between a positive work culture and good business results, and a 2012 Deloitte report supports this - http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/About/Leadership/1fe8be4ad25e7310VgnVCM1000001956f00aRCRD.htm. It makes sense: if you have a positive work culture, employees feel more comfortable, more creative, more valued. This results in a lower employee turnover rate which cuts the costs associated with recruitment, selection and onboarding. All this ultimately leads to organisations reporting stronger business results... However, there are discrepancies between the perception of company culture from senior management and those lower down the hierarchy, with more senior organisational Continue reading here [...]

Work Family Researchers Network

I attended the inaugural WFRN (Work Family Researchers Network) conference https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu/ in New York last week (14-16 June 2012). The work/family space is a vast area crossing many disciplines (HRM, Sociology, Geography, Psychology, Mediation...) and this conference was a great forum for those interested in the area to interact and share research. There were over 750 attendees from all over the world, which is testimony to the growing interest in this area. It emphasises the need for deeper investigation into how individuals, organisations and society can better reconcile and support individuals in their attempts to positively balance work and non-work. I gave two presentations at the event. The first considered gender & identity challenges and experiences of Continue reading here [...]

Women in the Workplace

While figures suggest more female participation in the workplace, the proportion of women on boards and in senior positions remains notably lower than their male counterparts. Preference theory suggests women have three 'preferences': career, mother (childcare), and a 'balance' between career focus and motherhood (childcare). This theory fails to address the voluntary (and involuntary) context of the 'preferences' and emphasises the requirement to differentiate between preferences and choices. For instance, some women would 'prefer' to stay at home with their children, but due to financial constraints, may choose to 'balance' or even focus on 'career'.  Similarly for women that may like to maintain or return to a paid working career after having children, they may not find employment or Continue reading here [...]