Bridging the Gender Gap: Seven Principles for Achieving Gender Balanceby Lynn Roseberry & Johan Roos

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 12 Jul, 2016

Bits and bobs

Pic from www.allbusiness.com

Law and business professors Lynn Roseberry and Johan Roos reviewed 60 years of gender-related research in history, law, psychology and the sciences and, after introducing data on the nature of the gender gap, they use each chapter to address a different common argument against “gender balance.” Their statistics are occasionally confusing or even a bit contradictory, but their discussions are impressive without being dry or boring.

The authors’ arguments against common gender misconceptions offer new insights into positive changes businesspeople can implement to address the gender gap.

Take-Aways from the book:

Women hold 10% to 20% of leadership positions in politics and the workplace.

“Gender balance” affects the bottom lines of businesses and national economies.

Today’s workplace replicates social and business practices of the 19th century.

A meta-analysis of scholarship on sex and gender differences found that 30% of studies showed no difference between males and females in relevant workplace traits.

Sex differences have to do with biology; gender differences have to do with culture.

Distinguishing between the two is often impossible.

Children learn gender roles as early as two years old and enforce them among their peers.

Adults cling to the gender profiles they learned as children; this leads to stereotyping.

The drive to succeed is built on ambition, which is made up of mastering a skill and gaining external recognition.

Gender imbalance takes a particular toll on men’s health.

Judges regularly dismiss discrimination cases that include evidence of sexist remarks.


Some interesting points in the book:

Seven common arguments against gender balance in the workplace are based on incorrect      information, misconceptions or faulty logic:

Biology – Workplaces often mirror the gender imbalance produced by the mostly Protestant, 19th century industrial manufacturing society. However, no “logical or biological reason” exists to segregate jobs by sex.

Children – The erroneous concept that women are superior at taking care of children blocks workplace change. Males and females have an equal ability to care for others.

Competitive nature – Many wrongly believe that women prefer to nurture, while men are by nature aggressive. In practice, a woman may choose to care for children because her relative earnings are less than her spouse’s, while few men agree to limit their work.

Leadership – Studies of women and men in managerial jobs reveal an equal desire for positions of authority. It’s not true that “women don’t really want to be leaders.”

Self-interest – It’s equally false that women are the only ones who worry about gender balance. In fact, gender imbalance affects men’s well being, work and lifestyles as well.

“Special-interest issue” – Some argue that gender balance is a feminist issue irrelevant to the workplace; plenty of women oppose intervention. However, gender balance affects the best interests of individuals, families, firms and national economies.

Law – Anti discrimination laws are supposed to ensure fairness, but courts sometimes discriminate in gender bias cases. Laws aren’t all society needs.



Before the Industrial Revolution, women contributed to their families’ finances by cultivating gardens and producing preserved food, fabric, soap and other goods. When the market economy industrialised and subsumed these activities, a man’s ability to work outside the home became vital to the family’s financial survival. Women’s only remaining role was to raise children and tend the home. The phrase “self-made man,” first appearing in the 1840s, indicates this cultural shift.

Employers historically paid women half the wages they paid men, reasoning that young, unmarried women were under their families’ care until marriage.

In gender studies research, the term “gender difference” refers to differences of culture and upbringing, while the overarching term “sex difference” describes biological variations.

Some gender-based claims assert that women lack ambition, however research finds no gender-based “ambition gap.” Ambition is the product of mastering a skill and receiving recognition for that talent; external approval is an important factor in developing ambition. Yet typical workplace protocols require women to behave in a subservient way, and that works against getting approval for their successes. The lack of recognition diminishes women’s desire to be ambitious.

Recommendations from the book:

Overcoming gender imbalance in the workplace is possible, but it requires an active effort. Workplaces can fulfil three criteria to further gender balance:

Become a “gender-integrated workplace” – No “logical or biological reason” exists to segregate jobs by sex in any type of work.

Raise children equably – Society must recognise that male and females are equally able to care for children. The workplace must change accordingly.

Share power – Men and women must “share relatively equally the positions of power and decision-making in business, education, and national and local governments.”


The People Alchemist Blog

By The Alchemist About Town 22 Sep, 2017
I am so utterly delighted that my book is now out, available to order both on paperback and on Kindle edition just in time for Business Women's Day - YES!!!!!! :-) 

STOP IT! It's all in your head   is my labour of love and my way to encourage, inspire and empower women to achieve what they want professionally and not be confined by societal, religious, family paradigms of what " women should do/are like" and, most importantly, the restrictions in their head.
If that is being CEO of a Global Company or a stay-at-mum or Director of Paperclip ( whatever grabs your fancy) so be it.

Writing this book was also a personal challenge ( the 30 days thingy) which confirmed to me once and for all that you can really do whatever you set your mind to, if you really want to that is.

Couple of tips for writing a book from me:
  • write about what you are passionate about, you know more than you think.
  • free-write about the parts/chapters in the book you like the most and you are most interested in first - that will give you a great boost at the beginning - you can edit and add the boring bits later - by then most of the book will be almost there
  • keep your own voice - write as you speak so to speak ( people do need to understand you though..)
  • keep an open mind, ideas will flow into you mid-way through the project
  • a deadline and going public is good to beat procrastination ( but if that stresses you out too much don't do it) - the deadline certainly helped me.
You can do it too!!!

If anyone would like to be part of the book launch, the event is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it- I hope to meet you soon, in person or through the pages of my book.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



By The Alchemist About Town 19 Sep, 2017
The time is getting closer and closer to the release of   STOP IT, It's all in your head   my new book ( 22 September for Business Women's Day - US) .

I have now  received the proof copy of the paperback which looks absolutely fabulous: a couple of things to correct but overall I am super happy with the result.
A lot of marketing to do now between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ ( which is PS: looking like more work than the actual writing of the book).

The book event/launch/talk is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



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