Table of Contents

Gender in Organizations

Gender in Organizations

Are Men Allies or Adversaries to Women’s Career Advancement?

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Debra A. Major

Diversifying the workforce is becoming increasingly important, with gender equality being a central feature of overall equality. Men seem to be part of the problem and a necessary part of the solution. This collection ties these themes together in the context of talent management and organizational effectiveness.

Chapter 1: Advancing women's careers: why men matter

Ronald J. Burke and Debra A. Major

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, organisational behaviour


We have been interested in supporting the advancement of qualified women into executive and CEO roles for some time. Unfortunately, progress has been both slow and uneven. We have come to realize that if more men became allies of these women instead of adversaries, significant benefits would fall to women, men, families, organizations, and societies at large. This chapter summarizes our thinking and sets the stage for the chapters that follow. Here is a summary of what we have come to believe. Organizations are gendered and masculinized. This gives men an unacknowledged and unearned advantage. As a result, women face additional challenges in the workplace. Masculinity has potential dysfunctional consequences for men and their health, for families, for organizations and for society. Both the workforce and organizations are changing in ways that are beginning to challenge the gendered nature of organizations. As more men begin, and continue, to support capable, ambitious, and bright women in the workplace, it will enhance both womenís and menís wellbeing, family enrichment, and organizational performance.

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