Are Men Allies or Adversaries to Women’s Career Advancement?
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Debra A. Major
Chapter 16: Engaging men through inclusive leadership
In an era where talent is fast superseding capital as a key driver of economic growth (Florida et al., 2012), twenty-first-century leaders face a critical challenge: leveraging the full pool of available talentñboth women and men. To thrive in this new talent economy, businesses cannot afford to ignore any one gender. They must develop leaders with the inclusive skills needed to fully utilize the talents of women and men equally. Seeing their economic competitiveness at risk, many countries are squarely focused on increasing womenís participation in business, passing legislationñincluding quotasñintended to increase gender diversity on corporate boards. Many businesses are keenly aware of the stakes involved, and are taking their own measures to address leadership gender gaps. But too often their tactics fall shortñmany focus singularly on women and their choices to the exclusion of men and their role in maintaining the status quo. This is unfortunate, as men have a critical part to play in closing gender gaps. Even though men overwhelmingly retain the greatest positions of power and influence in business, they are often overlooked in organizational efforts to drive change. By excluding men from the focus and development of strategies to attenuate gender disparities, businesses are missing an important opportunity to effect change. This chapter will outline the causes of gender disparities in business and what organizations can do to better engage men in closing them by fostering inclusive leadership.
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